By:
Jeffrey M. Bertman
Graduate Gemologist

 

Garnet, the birthstone for January, is actually a family of more than ten different gemstones with a similar chemical structure. As a result, various types of garnet display different colors, including green, yellow, orange, and a number of fine earthy shades. However, it is the red varieties of garnet that have garnered the most attention. The word “garnet” comes from the Latin “granatus,” meaning “grain,” which is most likely a reference to “Punica garnatum,” or pomegranate seed. Red garnet has a deep red color that is so popular among jewelry designers. Not only is the gemstone absolutely beautiful, it is hard enough (6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Scale) to stand up to the rigors of everyday wear. January is the month of the deep burgundy red garnet, a symbol of passion. A gift of garnet is thought to be symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one’s safe travel and speedy homecoming. You will find exquisite garnet rings, garnet pendants and garnet earrings.

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