January’s Birthstone: Garnet

What do the January birthstone, garnets, have in common with pomegranates?

On the surface, not much. But according to the American Gem Society, garnets get their name from an old Middle English word, “gernet,” which means “dark red.” That word comes from the Latin “granatum, meaning “seed.” And garnets are called garnets because the gemstone can resemble the red seeds of a pomegranate.

Fun fruit facts aside, the name “garnet” represents a group of minerals that, in reality, can be found in many different colors.

Necklace with a large emerald in it.
Garnet. Photo: Moha112100

Garnet Color

The traditional garnet gemstone is a beautiful, deep red, with the most common species being almandine garnets. Pyrope garnets are also quite popular and can be found in a range of red colors, from deep, dark reds to brownish, rust-colored hues.

This durable gemstone is also found in a wide variety of other colors, some of them quite rare: yellow, orange, green, teal, colorless, pink, purple, brown, black and even some that change colors in different light.

Garnet Significance

Garnets are associated with love and fidelity, earning this January birthstone recognition as a stone of commitment.

Garnets are said to represent everlasting friendship and trust. They are also said to bring peace, prosperity, and good health.

Garnet History

Ancient Egyptians believed that garnets were created by the sun god Ra and used the gemstones as a protective talisman. They considered garnets a symbol of life, and also used them to make jewelry and other decorations.

The Romans associated garnet with fidelity and love, and the gemstones were popular among soldiers as a good luck charm. Garnets were also thought to have medicinal properties.

Garnet Facts

Almandine is the most common species of garnet, most commonly a deep red color.

Uvarovite is a rare species of garnet and are generally bright green.

Spessartine is a somewhat rare species of garnet that ranges from orange to reddish-brown.

Garnets are mined around the world, abundantly in Australia, India, the United States, and China.

More About Garnets

Garnet Significance by Color

Garnet is a gemstone that comes in a wide variety of colors and varieties, with each offering its own unique set of properties.

  • Red Garnet: The most popular variety of garnet, red garnets are known for their deep red color and their ability to symbolize love and passion. They are also said to bring good luck and protection against evil spirits.
  • Orange Garnet: Orange garnets are said to represent strength and vitality. They are also believed to promote creativity and self-expression. Yellow garnets are associated with happiness and good fortune. They are said to promote mental clarity and help with decision-making.
  • Green Garnet: Green garnets are thought to represent growth and new beginnings. They are also believed to promote healing and provide protection from negative energy.
  • Purple Garnet: Purple garnets are associated with royalty and luxury. They are said to bring wisdom and peace of mind.
  • Brown Garnet: Brown garnets are grounding stones that can help with focus and concentration.
  • Pink Garnet: Pink garnets represent love, compassion, and understanding.
  • Black Garnet: Black garnets are protective stones that can ward off negative energy.
  • Colorless Garnet: Colorless garnets are known for their purity and clarity.
Closeup image of small garnet stones, January's birthstone.

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