Garnet, the birthstone for January, comes in many different colors however the most popular is the deep red colored garnet. But Garnets aren’t just the dark red of your Grandmother’s jewelry. They come in a rich palette of colors: greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, deeply saturated purplish reds, and even some blues with color change.
Thousands of years ago, red garnets adorned Egyptian Pharaohs; Romans used them as signet rings to seal important documents. In the 1500s there was a discovery of Bohemian garnet deposits which adorned jewelry until the late 1800s. Tsavorite garnet discovered in the 1960s is one of today’s most important green gemstones and Spessartite Garnet, also discovered in the 1960s, can range in color from yellowish orange through bright orange to an “aurora” reddish-orange hue.
Garnet is believed to aid blood, heart and lungs and is thought to promote romantic love, passion, sensuality, and intimacy. So, if you were thinking that your January birthstone is dull and unassuming, think again!
There are many different myths about the origins of garnet. One myth suggests that the garnet originated with Persephone, the Greek goddess of sunshine. Persephone was captured by Hades, the god of the underworld. Before Hades released Persephone, he wanted to guarantee her return, so he gave her some pomegranate seeds. The word garnet comes from the Latin "granatus," which means seed. The next time you eat a pomegranate, you will notice the seeds' resemblance to the rich luster of a garnet.