Part of a series of articles about birthstones.
January is the first month of the year — the month that symbolizes new beginnings, a fresh start, resolutions and hope for the new year ahead!
What better than the beautiful, all-powerful, garnet gemstone to be dedicated as the birthstone for the month of January? Garnet is not only beautiful as mounted jewelry but also is believed to have special powers and symbolize love!
Garnet is a group of closely related minerals. All of these garnet minerals share similar cubic crystal structure and chemical composition. They are usually deep red in color but can also be found in orange-brown, green, yellow and wine red shades. The sparkle and color of a garnet is higher than that of a diamond but this quality is masked by its color and is therefore less apparent. Gem-quality garnet occurs in many countries.
In Greek mythology, garnet is referenced as a gift of love and symbolizes eternity, mostly due to the historical red color of a garnet that resembles the deep red seed of a pomegranate.
Garnet was equally used to heal physical and mental health issues. It was thought to cure depression, protect against nightmares and relieve hemorrhaging and diseases of the liver. Its virtues include passion, friendship, fidelity, devotion, energy, success and self-esteem. Not only was this believed to help the human spirit but it was believed to be beneficial in business transactions as well.
Nowadays, in addition to serving as the January birthstone, garnet is offered as a gift for a second wedding anniversary and is symbolic of constancy, dependability and faithfulness.
Who knew a stone can be so powerful and be more than just beautiful to look at and wear!
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Caring for the garnet stone is very simple: warm, soapy water is a safe choice, and an ultrasonic cleaner can be used as well.
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Maria Messina is Acting Manager for Chubb’s Personal Risk Services Eastern Region in Canada and a certified jewelry specialist.