The word “garnet” comes from the 14th century Middle English word gernet, meaning “dark red.” The word is derived from Latin granatum, which means “seed,” and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to the beautifully red seeds of the pomegranate.
Garnet is the name of a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of tsavorites. Some rare garnets are even blue, colorless, or—most rare of all—change colors in different lights. But the most common garnet color is a beautiful range of reds, from rust colored to deep violet red.
The garnet is a very durable gemstone (6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale) found all over the world, including Wyoming, Czech Republic, Greece, Russia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and India. Mandarin Spessartite Garnets, also known as Mandarin garnets, are considered to be the most rare and expensive of all garnet gemstones.
The folklore on garnet is extensive. Legend has it that the garnet can bring peace, prosperity, and good health to the home. Some even called it the “Gem of Faith,” and it’s believed that to those who wear it and do good, more good will come. (Conversely, it was also said to bring very bad fortune to those who commit bad acts while wearing it.)
The garnet also symbolized deep and lasting friendship. With that legend in mind, give garnet jewelry to someone whose friendship you deeply value.
No matter why or how you wear garnet, this beautiful gemstone is perfect for those who share January birthdays and want to start each New Year with a sense of goodwill, happiness, and purpose.