All about Garnet - The Birthstone for January
If you were born in January then Garnet is your birthstone!
Garnet is usually a deep shade of red and this rich warming colour is perfect for January babies or anyone who loves the vibrant maroon colour of Garnet.
The word ‘Garnet’ is derived from the Latin word “granatum” which means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the red seeds of the pomegranate.
The semi-precious stone is the horoscope stone for Capricorn and is also the traditional gift for 2nd wedding anniversaries.
At Silver Scene we have a variety of Garnet designs, all handmade and designed by us, in our workshops in Bali, Indonesia.
Garnet is formed when sedimentary rock is metamorphosed (when rock is put under intense heat and pressure), this causes the minerals to recrystallize. Garnets can be found in igneous rocks such as basalt and granite.
The gemstone is mined in many countries around the world, but the highest quality Garnets come from Australia, USA and China.
Garnets are often mistaken for Rubies due to the same colour red. Rubies are a more intense red and a harder stone, however, they do carry flaws and inclusions within the stone. With Garnets the stones are typically eye clean and do not have any visible inclusions.
Pictured is our Garnet Oya Cuff, one of our most popular Garnet designs and a Silver Scene favourite.
History and Legends
Garnet has had a place in history for centuries as a gemstone, talisman or sacred stone. It is so durable, remnants of garnet jewellery can be found as far back as the Bronze Age.
Like most of our stones, Garnet was very important to the Ancient Egyptians. They wore the gemstone as beads on necklaces as far back as 3800 BC and believed it was a symbol of good health.
Pictured is a 1st Century BC Garnet Necklace via The Met Museum in New York.
Garnets have been mined in the Czech Republic since the 5th Century. The Czech Republic was formally known as 'Bohemia', giving the name 'Bohemian Garnets'. Production boomed from 1780 onwards and they were mined on a mass scale. The gemstones found in the North of Czech Republic were considered to be the highest quality at the time, due to the colouring of the stone ranging from a fiery red to a ruby red. During the 18th and 19th centuries, in Europe, Bohemian Garnets became very popular and were used in engagement rings as well as Art Nouveau style of jewellery.
Pictured is Art Nouveau style earrings from The National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library.
Pictured is our Garnet Summer Berry Earrings. This design is inspired by the 18th-19th Century Art Nouveau style, but with modern twist.
Healing Properties and Beliefs
Garnet is known as the stone of commitment. It inspires love and devotion, balances the sex drive and alleviates emotional disharmony.
It is said to be a useful stone to have in a crisis as it fortifies and activates survival instinct, bringing courage and hope.
Square-cut garnets are said to bring success to business matters. Garnets are also known to symbolise deep and lasting friendship.
The gemstone is also believed to cure illness, such as heart disease. Many say this is due to the deep red colour closely relating to blood.