Birthstone Of The Month: Garnet

The new year is here, and it just so happens to land on a Monday. What a perfect coincidence for our blog. I (Hilda), would like to say congratulations to all the January babies out there. I was also born on January and know that all thought the cold nips at your toes, we couldn’t have asked for a better birth month. Most stores are eager to put on after holiday sales and our birthdays are just far enough from Christmas to be their own celebration. To help you celebrate Enji has made a list of 10 fun facts about our birthstone, the garnet.

1. This gemstones name comes from the 14th century middle English word “gernet” meaning dark red. That word derived from the word “granatum”, latin for seed. The gemstone resembles the brilliant dark red seeds of a pomegranate hence its name.

2. The chemical composition of a garnet can vary and can cause the gemstone to have different levels of hardness. On Moh’s scale of hardness a garnet can range from 6.5 to 7.5.

3. A garnet can come in an array of colors, not just red. It has one of the largest variations of color in gemstones, occurring in every color except blue.

4. Besides brilliance and attractive colors, garnets sometimes exhibit optical phenomena such as asterism (a star-shaped pattern of reflections), chatoyancy (a “cat’s-eye” seen in reflected light), or a color change when viewed under different types of lighting.

5. Garnet is found all over the world, including major mining sites include the Czech Republic, Greece, India, Madagascar, Russia, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, and The United States.

6. Garnets are commonly found as small pebbles in streams and watery places, where the igneous and metamorphic rocks that contain them have weathered away.

7. The garnet was very popular during the Victorian age and took much inspiration from the pomegranate. Small stones were clustered together to create large statement pieces.

8. A few of American states have elected to have the garnet be their official state gemstone. Idaho was designated the star garnet, New York picked the wine-red garnet, Connecticut chose almandine Garnet, and Vermont has the grossularite garnet.

9. This gemstone was also used as a talisman for protection both by warriors going into battle and to those who wanted to ward off pestilence and plague.

10. The garnet is believed to symbolize deep and long-lasting friendships. It should be gifted to people whose friendship you value deeply