By her who in January was born
No gem save Garnets shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity.
A new year commences… and with our best wishes for prosperity and happiness, we bring to you this month’s Gem Gossip on a gemstone that brings to its wearer hope, happiness, and good fortune!
Saturn rules the practical sign of Capricorn and controls the month of January. January Borns are strongly motivated to succeed and gain positions of power. They possess strong organizational skills and strive for respect and accomplishment. The fluctuations of the Moon strongly affect those born in January and they must avoid nurturing depressing thoughts. Emotional and sensitive, January Borns are very responsible and protective of the family circle. However, they find it difficult to openly communicate their deepest feelings.
The birthstone for the month of January is the Garnet stone. Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. All species of Garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms but differ in chemical composition. The word Garnet comes from the 14th‑century Middle English word gernet, meaning ‘dark red’. It is derived from the Latin granatus, from granum (grain, seed). This is possibly a reference to pomumgranatum (pomegranate), a plant whose fruits contain abundant and vivid red seed covers (arils), which are similar in shape, size, and colour to some garnet crystals. According to the Roman historian Pliny, the large dull-colored “Carbunculus of India” (a variety of Garnet) used to be hollowed out into vessels.
This gem is available in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red Bohemian Garnet to the vibrant greens of the Russian Demantoid and African Tsavorite. It also appears in the oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite from Namibia and Sri Lanka, and the subtle pinks and purples of Rhododendron. The light transmission properties of Garnet can range from gemstone-quality transparent specimens to the opaque varieties used for industrial purposes as abrasives. The mineral’s luster is categorized as vitreous (glass-like) or resinous (amber-like).
Garnets were used in former Czechoslovakia as far back as the Bronze Age and in Egypt more than five thousand years ago. They were used in Sumeria around 2100 B.C. and in Sweden between 1000 and 2000 B.C. They were also popular in ancient Greek and Roman civilizations. According to the Talmud, the only light on Noah’s ark was provided by a large Garnet. In Europe during the Middle Ages, Garnet was used to enhance truth, faith, and constancy, and to dispel melancholy. As a Warrior’s Stone, Garnet served as a talisman in the Crusades for both the Christians and their Muslim enemies. Garnet is said to have been one of the twelve stones in the Breastplate of the High Priest and has been used as a sacred stone by the Native American Indians, the South American Indians, the Aztecs, the African tribal elders, and the Mayans.
Legends and folklore place garnet among the most ancient of talismans. Not only was it prized as an ornamental jewel, but its strong curative powers and protective energies made it invaluable. Legend says Garnets light up the night and protects their owners from nightmares. Garnets have long been carried by travelers to protect against accidents far from home. They may be the birthstone for January, but with their stunning variety of colors and mystical powers they have been given as gifts for all occasions for centuries. Garnet signifies eternal friendship and trust and is the perfect gift for a friend. Garnet is also known for its utilization of creative energy. It grounds spirit forces within the body. It is a sensual stone representing primordial fire, the creation of the world out of chaos, purification, and love. It is a stone of strong, intense feelings.
Garnets that are the color of blood were not only believed to confer invulnerability from wounds, but some Asiatic tribes launched garnets from their sling bows, and later as bullets- the principle being that the blood-coloured stone would inflict a more deadly wound than a leaden bullet. Today, Garnet is not only worn ornamentally as a beautiful gem but is used widely in industrial markets, from watch gears and scientific instruments to sandpaper and abrasives. Garnets bring balance in life and eliminate all negativity from the mind. In Indian astrology, each variety of Garnet relates to different Chakras in the body. Generally, Garnets are associated with root chakra which is the life force in our body. Green Garnet has an impact on the Heart chakra while Hessonite works on Sahashara Chakra. Demantoid stimulates all chakras from base to crown. Garnets are said to enhance composure, strength, contemplation, and generosity in the wearer.
The healing properties of Garnet include increasing blood circulation and hemoglobin levels in the body. Garnets reduce inflammation and cure bone injuries. They also regulate the functioning of spleen, lungs, and heart.
Garnets are highly beneficial for businessmen and it is considered propitious to keep a few garnets in the cash box. They also reduce mental stress and depression, and encourage imagination and self-confidence in the wearer. They also foster better relationships and are considered ideal for frequent travelers to ensure a safe journey.
We welcome you to our wonderful world of jewellery to explore what you might like own with Garnets. Earrings, necklaces, pendants, bangles…. the repertoire is limitless, as is the finesse of our designers and jewelsmiths. Begin 2016 auspiciously and gift yourself or loved ones timeless pieces of jewellery with Garnets in them.