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All About Garnets

September 16th, 2011 Jewelry

If you're a January baby, you're probably aware that your birthstone is a garnet, but you may not know much about the stone's history, sources or myths.

The Latin word for pomegranate, malum granatum is thought to be the origin of the word garnet, which makes sense considering the stone resembles a juicy pomegranate seed. Garnets can be any color of the rainbow except for blue, and there are names for each variety.

- Almandines are the richest, deepest red garnets that can have purple or orange hues. - Demantoids are rare, valuable green garnets that can have a yellow tinge. - Hessonite garnets can be shades of yellow and brown. - Pyrope is a rich red that can be slightly purple. - Rhodolite garnets are pink and purple. - Spessartites are shades of orange. - Tsavorite garnets are rare and medium to slightly yellowish green. - Uvarovites are bright green and are formed in clusters of crystals.

Early cultures believed that garnets had the power to stop bleeding and cure all kinds of blood diseases. It was thought to regulate the circulatory system and alleviate symptoms of depression. Ancient civilizations thought it provided protection in the afterlife, which explains why it's been found in many burial sites.

Garnet sources come from plenty of different places, but the U.S., South Africa, Australia, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Russia, Kenya and Tanzania tend to have the most.

With so many colorful varieties, garnets can fit into any type of jewelry trend and offer style and elegant flair to any ensemble. Consider yourself lucky to be born during the first month of the year!