Garnet is January’s birthstone, a name given to over ten gemstones with similar structure. Although usually red, there’s shades of green, pale to bright yellow and fiery orange.
The word “Garnet” derives from the Latin “granum” meaning “grain”. Describing the typically rounded shape of the gemstone and also reminds of pomegranate seeds.
Garnet makes good jewellery because it’s very hard, and resistant to wear. Garnet is said to symbolize happiness as well as deep and enduring love and friendship. Garnet has been found in jewellery from ancient Greece, Rome, and dating back to 3100 BC in Egypt.
Oriental warriors made garnet bullets because they believed these would inflict more harm. Others thought garnet brightened the night because of its high refraction of light – explained Noah’s garnet lantern to steer his Ark.
Travellers’ wore garnets to protect against evil, poison and wounds.
Today, garnet is prized for its beauty rather than its magical powers.