The January Birthstone is garnet. The word "garnet" comes from the Latin word "granatus," meaning "grain" or "seed." This name was given to the garnet because of its close resemblance to the succulent pomegranate seed. It is also the stone for the Zodiac sign Aquarius. Garnet may traditionally be given as a gift on the second or sixth wedding anniversary.
There are many myths and legends about the garnet. One Biblical legend is that Noah hung this gem on the ark to light his way through the dark and stormy nights of God's wrath. A Greek myth linked to the garnet is the story of the young goddess of sunshine, Persephone, who was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld. Hades eventually released Persephone, but not before he offered her some pomegranate seeds, which guaranteed her return to him.
First mined in Sri Lanka over 2,500 years ago, the garnet is also found in Africa, Australia, India, Russia, Brazil, and in the United States, in Arizona and Idaho.
Although most commonly known as a red gemstone, the garnet comes in a variety of other hues, including muted yellows, vibrant oranges, rosy pinks, lime greens, and violets—a virtual bouquet of colors. This diversity is due to unique combinations of elements within each particular gem, such as iron, calcium, and manganese.
Garnets are a related group of minerals. Members of this group include: almandine (red to violet red); spessartite (yellow, rose, or orange to reddish-brown); pyrope (deep red); grossular (white, yellow, yellow-green, brownish-red, orange or black); andradite (colorless, yellow-green, or brown to black). The most prized garnet is an emerald green variety called demantoid and is a member of the adradite group.
The garnet is a protective gem for travelers. A gift of garnet is symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one's safe travel and speedy homecoming. It is January's birthstone, but far from being only a winter gem, the garnet, with its brilliance and multitude of colors, is truly one for any season.
Spiritual Gemstone meaning of Garnet:
The Garnet is known as the stone for a successful business. If your business is not as good as it should be, just put 3 or more garnets on your desk. It is believed that if a garnet is put under pillow it will cure depression. Garnets can be used to make a person popular and have self-esteem when worn as jewelry. It helps protect one on trips. Garnets bring constancy to friendships. Garnets are also known for stimulating success in business.
Healing properties of Garnet:
Garnet comes in many colors, this refers only to red Garnet. The Garnet is associated with the thyroid and spleen. It helps cleanse and purify both when held over the area. The Garnet is usually held in the hand or placed on top of the head when searching or meditating on past lives. Information that is beneficial and helpful will usually be released for the searcher.
The Garnet is a stone of purity and truth as well as a symbol of love and compassion. The information released in a search may be painful, but it will always be what the searcher needs. The Garnet will help everyone's security level and spiritual awareness. It can help increase the sex drive.
Researched by Linda Blatchford, Linda B's Jewelry Creations