Garnet, the birthstone of January, is derived from the Greek word “granatum” which means “pomegranate seed” reflecting the shape and color of the crystals. References to the gemstone date back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays jewelry. Garnet is the name of a group of minerals that come in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of tsavorites. The garnet’s variety of colors comes from metals such as manganese, iron, calcium, and aluminum. Some varieties even contain mineral fibers that produce the illusion of a four- or six-rayed star within the stone. Green garnets are most highly prized but are very rare. Emerald green and colorless stones are highly valued, followed by pure red garnets. Garnets are commonly found as small pebbles in streams, where the igneous and metamorphic rocks that contain them have weathered away. Today, the most important sources for garnet are Africa, Sri Lanka, and India.
Garnet is said to relieve fever and inflammatory diseases, and aid in promoting healthy blood, heart, and lungs. Garnet is also known to promote romantic love, passion, sensuality, and intimacy. It symbolizes a light heart, loyalty and eternal friendship and trust. It is the perfect gift for a friend.