January Birthstone Garnet: Color, Meaning, History, Healing Properties, and More
If you have a January Birthday you are lucky to have the beautiful and diverse garnet as your birthstone. So whether you are a January baby or just love the look of this stone you’ll want to keep reading.
We’ll take a look at:
Table of Contents
- Color of Garnet
- History of Garnet
- Garnet Stone Spiritual Meaning
- Garnet Healing Properties & Benefits
- Garnet Gemstone Jewelry & Bracelets
Color of Garnet
Garnet’s name originates from the medieval Latin word granatus which means ‘seeds’, referring to the seed-like appearance of a pomegranate. The color most associated with garnet is a deep or dark red, not unlike the pomegranate fruit. In the early French language, the word ‘grenat’ was used to refer to the beautifully dark red gemstone. Eventually, the word was integrated into the English language, and ‘grenat’ morphed into ‘garnet’.
Even though garnet most commonly presents as red, it is found in many colors including orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, blue, black, pink, and colorless. Garnet can be found as large crystals with vibrant hues and even clear transparency.
This deep red stone is made up of several minerals such as pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, andradite, and uvarovite, with each characterizing a different color or shade of garnet.
History of Garnet
This durable gemstone has stood the test of time and has been found dating as far back as the Bronze Age. Ancient Egyptians used the garnet stone as inlays for their jewelry, talisman, carvings, and even tombstones. To the ancient Egyptians, this stone was a symbol of life and was thought to bring good luck.
The popularity of this impressive gemstone continued through both the Greek and Roman times as their warriors used it as a talisman for protection when going into battle and it was even used to ward off pestilence and plague. Ancient healers believed in the healing powers of the stone so much they placed it in wounds so they would heal faster.
During the Victorian era, the gemstone found a resurgence in popularity and was frequently used in jewelry. In fact, some of the most popular pieces of jewelry during that period replicated the pomegranate, with tiny garnet clusters gathering together to make statement pieces.
In more recent times, the garnet can still be found adorning various jewelry pieces and styles, including royal tiaras. Because the garnet comes in many different colors, this gemstone has the potential to garnish many beautiful pieces of jewelry.
Where Garnet is Found
Garnets can be found in many distinct countries and regions of the world. During the Victorian era, Bohemia was the leading source of red garnet gemstones. Today, garnet is primarily derived from the African continent. The spellbinding green garnet comes from Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar while Namibia and Tanzania produce the rich orange-yellow garnet stones.
Until recently, the mining area of Little Three in southern California was known for the production of this elegant gemstone. The countries of Myanmar, Brazil, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka are also among the countries that produce January’s breathtaking birthstone.
Garnet Stone Spiritual Meaning
From the beginning of the garnet’s existence, this birthstone was thought to bring the wearer good health, fortune, and true happiness. It represents love and friendship and is said to mend the wounds between lovers and foster healing in relationships.
For centuries garnet was also used as an aid for protection and healing by many different cultures and civilizations. It was commonly used as a protector against a range of suffering and ailments whether that was due to enemies, illness, or even bad dreams.
The ancient Romans went into battle wearing garnets to protect them from their enemies and for a safe journey home. Royalty throughout the ages also adorned this stone for its protective powers.
In modern times, crystal healers are said to use and promote garnet as an ally in self-awareness which acts as a powerful tool in relationship building. Today, garnet provides the wearer with loyalty and unchanging affections. This is believed to aid the happiness of relationships and love and to bring the wearer good luck in these areas.
The deep-red appearance of this stone is often associated with the life-blood which ushers in vitality, life, and light. Bringing happiness and goodness into one’s life, the garnet protects one from negativity and harmful thought patterns, and it encourages success in business endeavors as well as life in general.
Garnet Healing Properties & Benefits
Garnet has been seen as a powerful healer for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. Native American healers used the stone to protect against injury and poison, while ancient Egyptians used it to stave off bad dreams and as a cure for depression.
In Medieval times, garnet was used as a remedy for inflammatory diseases, and the stone was hung around the neck to cure indigestion and sore throats, and to soothe an angry heart.
The red garnet gemstone has strong associations with the heart, therefore it has been used to activate one’s endurance, strength, and vigor. It protects and cleanses one of dark thoughts and discharges depression from the wearer.
Garnet Gemstone Jewelry & Bracelets
The enchanting beauty of the garnet stone makes it the perfect gemstone for all types of jewelry. It can embellish rings and pendants and can even adorn bracelets. With a Mohs Hardness rating of 6.5-7.5, it is important to wear garnet jewelry with softer stones as any contact with harder stones may cause scratching.
Taking care of your garnet jewelry is important. It should be stored separately in a soft cloth or padded container. To optimally clean garnet jewelry, carefully clean it with warm soapy water, gentle soaps are best, and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth.
Though the garnet is the birthstone of those born in January, it is a beloved stone by all. The beauty and power of the enchanting garnet stone are enough to entice anyone to wear it.