Did you know that January’s birthstone, the garnet, was named after everyone’s favorite winter fruit, the pomegranate? It’s true. The name was coined by a 13th-century German theologian from the Latin granatus, from granum (‘grain, seed’), referring to the red seeds in pomegranate. And we totally agree that the seeds do resemble beautifully cut and polished little garnet briolettes.
Garnet remnants have been found inlaid in jewelry as far back as the Bronze Age. While most of us recognize garnet as deep red colored gemstones, it can also be found in a whole spectrum of colors including orange, yellow, purple, brown, and rare specimens of green. Sometimes, they’re even colorless.
But garnet isn’t only used to make beautiful jewelry. It has many industrial uses as well. The hardness of garnet (6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale) allows it to be used for waterjet cutting, sandpaper, and abrasive blasting to name a few. That’s right, your local hardware store is stocked with copious sheets of garnet sandpaper.
But one of our favorite things to do with garnet is gift it. You can never go wrong when gifting traditional red garnet. It’s timeless and affordable. Gift it to anyone who celebrates a January birthday or is having a January baby, or you can gift Garnet to commemorate a 2nd anniversary. If you know someone who appreciates the metaphysical properties of stones, garnet is believed to be a powerful energizing, and regenerating stone. They are often gifted to a loved one before they embark on travel (Heading south for the winter, anyone?) And are also believed to help with feelings of melancholy and depression (not heading south for the winter, anyone?).
Red or green, industrial or luxury, humans have been drawn to this delicious stone for more than 5,000 years. So go grab yourself some garnet already.