Garnet - The Birthstone Of January
"What is the birthstone of January?" I hear you ask. No, oh well I'll tell you anyway. It's Garnet! Here's a bit about the pretty green stone (no that wasn't a typo please read on.....) The name 'Garnet' comes from the Latin word 'granatum' meaning 'pomegranate' because the crystals resemble the red colour of the fruit & the shapes of the seeds before the gems are polished.
Although red is the most well known colour for Garnets, they are actually available in a wide range of colours. This is due to traces of elements like iron, manganese, calcium & aluminium within the stones. Green garnets are known as Tsavorites & are one of the most valuable types of Garnets. They are often mistaken for top quality Emeralds but they cost a lot less so confusion between the two can be costly. Below is a rubover set green garnet:
Garnets are mined in Europe, America, Africa, Asia & Australia.
Garnet has a rating of 7.5 on the Mohs' scale (a marks out of 10 for hardness of gemstones). This means Garnet is a tough stone that should withstand everyday wear.
Garnets were once believed to hold amazing medicinal powers. In Medieval times Garnets were said to protect their wearer against wounds, bad dreams, poisons & even depression! Talismans set with garnet were believed to protect warriors during war and bring them peace and tranquillity when upon their return. Garnets were also set into signet rings, belt buckles and other objects worn by soldiers during their battles. During the 17th century Garnet was thought to halt the flow of blood so it was used as a remedy for heavy blood loss although I would not personally recommend it!