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January Birthstone - Garnet

Garnets are most commonly found as a red to reddish brown gemstone. However, there are several members of the garnet family that come in various other colors such as green, pink, orange, yellow, and black.

Garnet is believed to be a calming stone with healing properties especially for those with problems of the heart. Worn at night it has been believed to ease sleep and prevent nightmares.

Various Members of the Garnet Family:

  • Almandine - Reddish brown color with violet
  • Andradite - Brown to black
  • Demantiod - Yellow or Green
  • Grossular - Colorless, Orange, Pink, or Dark Green
  • Hessonite - Yellowish Orange or Red
  • Pyrope - Blood red or Red with brown tones
  • Rhodolite - Red with purple or rose tones
  • Spessartine - Orange, pink, or reddish brown
  • Tsavorite - Emerald Green to yellow green
  • Uvarovite - Olive Green

Garnet gets its name from the Latin word for seed Granatus, due to its resemblance in color to pomeganate seeds.

The origin of the tradition of birthstones is sometimes attributed to the Breastplate of Aaron, the high priest of Hebrews. The breastplate of the high priest was a ceremonial garment set with 12 gemstones, each stone representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel. The twelve gems corresponded to the twelve months of the year, and the twelve signs of the zodiac.

Garnet is the modern birthstone for January.

Garnet has a Mohs scale hardness rating of 7.5.

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