Garnet - January Birthstone

Garnet - January Birthstone
January's birthstone is the garnet. Red garnets are the most common, but in fact, garnet comes in a wide variety of colours ranging from black, green, clear and numerous shades of red. The variety of colours is due to metal impurities such as iron, aluminum and manganese. A few garnets look as if they have a star in their center. This look is produced when tiny fibers of the metal impurities form within the piece of garnet.

Green garnets are the most rare and therefore highly prized. Emerald green and colorless garnet are next rarest, followed by pure red garnets.

Garnet was not only favored for its beauty, but also for the powers it was believed to have. Many Native American tribes used garnet in jewelry and to decorate shields, dreamcatchers and many other things. But their uses went much deeper than decoration. It was believed that garnet had strong medicinal powers. Garnet was thought to protect its wearer against poisons and wounds. It was also believed by some to help cure depression and to prevent nightmares. Red garnets in particular was believed to break a fever, stop bleeding and to reduce inflammation.

Today, garnet is prized for its beauty rather than its magical powers. Some attributes are still associated with this gemstone however. Garnet is said to symbolize happiness as well as deep and enduring love and friendships.

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