Garnet, January's Birthstone
Garnet, January's Birthstone
You’d think that garnet, January’s birthstone would be something white or colourless, to reflect the wintery, snowy weather, but you couldn’t be further from the truth. Those with a New Year birthday are blessed with garnet as their stone; its name is derived from the Latin ‘granatum’, meaning pomegranate, because the stone represents the deep red seeds of the fruit.
It’s one of my favourites, which is just as well, as it’s also my birthstone. Although most commonly seen in red, garnet does in fact refer to a group of minerals that exist in a rainbow of colours – from black and blue to the rarer green and colourless variations.
In ancient and medieval times, garnets were worn to enhance strength, endurance and vigour, which is why warriors wore them during conflicts, both to encourage victory and protect against injuries.
As you can imagine, the vibrant red of the garnet had a strong link to blood, so the properties of the garnet include remedies for haemorrhages, regulation of the heart and other blood disorders.
By that nature, red garnet also represents love (why isn’t this February’s birthstone?!) loyalty, devotion and trust. In fact, it’s summed up perfectly by this verse that I found:
“Her who in January was born No gem save garnets shall be worn They will ensure her constancy True friendship and fidelity.”
Representing love and friendship, but also sexual and sensual energy, it’s kind of the ancient version of Viagra (!), but more than that, it inspires faithfulness, monogamy and commitment (it really should be February’s birthstone!)
So, not only a gift for a January birthday, but in general, perfect for a friend or lover, its message says far more than words could ever. It’s also a lovely present for someone that’s going to pastures new, perhaps to university, moving to a new city or a new job, it is also believed to help encourage friendships too.
I was surprised to read that garnet is believed to be extremely beneficial to those in business. If you wear garnet, the properties of the stone cause people to be attracted to you (singletons, take note…) which can be really useful for drawing in customers, especially if your business is one which is people-oriented, and definitely one for those who frequent the networking circuit! Also, taking into account the strength giving properties I mentioned earlier, one to help when overcoming the trials and tribulations of working life.
So all in all, it’s a pretty good stone to have as part of your jewellery collection, passion, energy, love and friendship, what’s not to like about it? Its beautiful deep colour will instantly attract attention and can really bring a necklace, bracelet or ring to life.
I’ve got some lovely pieces in my collection and some are online for you to browse through, but as always, get in touch if you’ve got your own idea in mind. And although it’s January’s birthstone, don’t forget that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, with all those associations with love and friendship, what could be more perfect for a gift for your loved one?