The January Birthstone
The Garnet is a versatile gemstone, full of character and colour. Its name is derived from the Latin word ‘granatus’, meaning seed or grain because of the stone’s resemblance in hue to the seeds of the pomegranate fruit in its most recognised, blood-red form.
Whilst its most common hue is red, garnets do also occur naturally in a multitude of other rainbow colour variations, from brownish-red to the dark red pyrope garnets, the orange mandarin garnet, the purple-pink rhodolite garnet and the prized green garnet , known as a Tsavorite. Discovered in the 20th century in Tsavo, Kenya, the Tsavorite has a strong resemblance to emerald, and is often mistaken as such. However, as with most garnets, it is rarely found in large crystals, and any such stone over 3 carats has an exponentially higher price.
Legends and folklore place garnets among the most ancient of talismans, not only prized as an ornamental jewel but also as one that had strong curative powers and protective energies. For many, garnet gemstones are believed to inspire creative energy and purify the body to a re-energized state. It is also thought by crystal enthusiasts to promote self-empowerment and harness inner strength.
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