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The Meaning of Garnet
The symbolic meaning of January's birthstone, Garnet, stems from its blood red color, linking it to the heart’s vitality and thus friendship and love. It is connected to the heart chakra, enhancing relationships, and inspiring love and devotion. Garnet jewelry is often given as a sign of devotion and commitment and is the gemstone chosen for the second and eighth anniversaries.
A symbol of enduring affection and eternal friendship, Garnets are associated with Persephone from Greek mythology. The goddess of vegetation was kidnapped by Hades, the god of the Underworld. While there, she ate six pomegranate seeds, condemning her to remain in the Underworld for that many months out of the year, resulting in six months of winter followed by spring. Because garnets resemble pomegranate seeds, the stone has come to stand for the safe return of a friend or loved one. Garnets are thus said to protect travelers on their journeys and were often exchanged between friends as tokens that they would meet again.
The connection to vitality and life force has also meant that Garnets are seen as having protective powers. Many ancient cultures from Saxon and Celtic kings to Native American healers believed that garnets had protective powers. King Solomon wore garnets into battle, as did Christian and Muslim warriors during the Crusades hoping to be protected from injury. Garnet is the birthstone for the Zodiac signs of Capricorn and Aquarius.
Since ancient times, humans have associated gemstones with healing properties and spiritual significance.
Garnet - Gemstone Knowledge
Garnet is a semi precious gemstone which derives its name from the Latin word, “granatus,” which means seed, evoking the vivid red seeds of a pomegranate. Garnets are actually a group of silicate minerals including pyrope, almandine, spessartine, andradite, and grossular, with similar crystal structure and colors ranging from yellow, to orange, pink, red, purple, green, brown, and black.
Garnet - Gemstone Knowledge
Caring for your Garnet Jewelry
How to Clean your Garnet Jewelry
Occasional cleaning with a non-abrasive jewelry cleaner or mild dye-free dish soap and water is a simple way to maintain the beauty of your Garnet jewelry. Let the jewelry soak in a small bowl for a few minutes (keep it away from the sink & drain), then brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Be sure to rinse it completely and blot dry with a chamois cloth.
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Rubies are a true red and Garnets often have a touch of earthy tones, including orange to brownish red. If you hold a Garnet so the light shines through it, the rainbow created should include yellow and green. Rubies will only show red when light passes through them. Rubies (9 on the Mohs scale) are harder than Garnets (6.5 - 7.5).
Absolutely not! People wear gemstones for many reasons, not just because they are the birthstone for the month they were born. You may choose to wear a stone because you feel a connection to the color, because the traditional meaning resonates with you, or because it reminds you of someone you love like a child, a friend or a loved one who has passed away. Jewelry is extremely personal and you should feel free to wear gemstones that speak to you.