January Birthstone Garnet
The garnet is the modern-day birthstone for the month of January. It is also the gem that is used for the 2nd and 6th wedding anniversaries. Most people think that all garnets are red in color. That is, in fact, untrue, although red is the most common color of the gemstone. This is often referred to as the Almandine garnet. It is located in the southern United States, Brazil, Southern Asia and Madagascar. Other colors of garnet include yellow (Hessonite), purple (Pyrope) and green (Demantoid). The green garnet is extremely rare and highly prized.
The name garnet comes to us from the Latin granatum malum and means pomegranate. Jewels made from garnet have been made since the Bronze Age, over 3,000 years ago. Garnet jewelry has been found in Egypt (3100 B.C.E.), Sumeria (2300 B.C.E.), and Sweden (2000 B.C.E.). The Ancient Greeks treasured the gem as did the Romans, who gave it its name.
Because the gem is commonly blood red, it was believed during the Middle Ages, that garnets could protect European knights against wounds and even bring the wearer a military victory. Common people thought that the gem had medicinal purposes. Medieval garnets were also hailed as being able to cure depression, keep bad dreams at bay, relieve fevers, stop bleeding and much more. In Japan and China, the garnet was used to make bullets as it was believed that the gem could inflict more damage on an intended victim. These bullets were used up until the end of the nineteenth century.
Nowadays, garnets are revered more for their beauty than for their 'magical' powers. However, many believe that garnets symbolize a happiness and lasting love and friendship.
Birthstones: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December
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