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Garnet is January's birthstone and the traditional anniversary gemstone for the second year of marriage.

Moh's Scale

Considered hard, it has a Moh's scale hardness of 6.5 to 7.5. Though not as hard as a diamond, a garnet is not easily damaged.

Colors of the Rainbow

If you are like most, you are probably unaware that garnet gemstones are available in an array of colors. Not just red – but orange, yellow, purple, green, blue (the most rare), black and brown. After the discovery of a bright green Grossular garnet in East Africa in the late 1960's, and named “Tsavorite,” by Tiffany's jewelry, this new color of garnet was introduced rivaling the emerald in its luminescent color. Along with the color variety, garnet gemstones are affordable, making them a favorite among jewelry designers around the world.

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Love and the Gift of Garnets

In love, but can't afford diamonds? Consider garnets for Valentine's Day, an anniversary or a dating anniversary or perhaps to say, "I'm sorry!" Often overlooked for romantic gifts, garnets are symbolic of love, plus give you more for your money. Instead of a single piece of jewelry, you could possibly afford a jewelry ensemble. Garnets are available in earrings, necklaces, pins and brooches, bracelets...any piece of jewelry desired, offering a wide range of gift ideas. Or, you may ask your jeweler to create a custom piece of jewelry for you adding that personal touch. Your special someone will love receiving a unique piece that no one else will have.


What's in a Name

The word garnet was derived from the Latin word "granatus," meaning "grain" or "seed." The seed of the pomegranate closely resembles the garnet.

The History of Garnet


Legends, myths, and traditions abound when it comes to garnets. It is believed to have been one of the twelve gemstones in Aaron's breastplate in the Hebrew tradition, while Christians consider the garnet symbolic of Christ's blood and sacrifice of their savior. According to the ancient Jewish text, the Talmud, Noah used a red garnet for illumination in the Ark. In the Koran, garnets are believed to illuminate the Fourth Heaven of the Moslems. Archaeologists have found primitive garnet jewelry among the graves of lake dwellers which dates the use of this popular gemstone to the Bronze age.
A Greek myth tells the story of Peresphone, the young goddess of sunshine, who was abducted by Hades, god of the underworld. The devil eventually released her, but not before he offered her some pomegranate seeds, which guaranteed her return to him. Thus, garnets have come to represent fidelity and commitment.


Garnets facilitate night vision and ensures success.
Garnets protect their owners from nightmares.
Garnets carried by travelers protect against accidents far from home.
Garnets, according to Egyptians, protected them from snakebite and was an antidote to food poisoning.
Evaluating Garnet Gemstones
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In evaluating loose garnets, the purity of color, the clarity and the size are most important. The price increases with the size of the stone and the unusual colors of garnet are even more valuable in the larger sizes. Large inclusion free gems are rare. Garnets are most commonly found in round, oval, and cushion cuts, and the availability will depend on the variety of stone. While Rhodolite garnet is available in larger sizes, Tsavorite garnet is difficult to find in sizes above a carat.

Although garnets are considered durable, store separately from other gemstones to avoid scratches. Clean with a mild soap and lint-free cloth. You may use a soft toothbrush to gently clean beneath the stone.

Far from being only a winter gem as January's birthstone, the garnet, with its brilliance and multitude of colors, is truly a gemstone of choice for any season!


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