Garnet is January’s Birthstone

Garnet is the official birthstone for the month of January.  The word “garnet” comes from the Latin word granatus, literally translated to mean “grain,” but it’s also thought to be derived from the latter portion of pomegranate because some garnet crystals bear a resemblance to pomegranate seeds. Garnets have been used in jewelry and for other decorative purposes for thousands of years, dating back as early as 3100 BC when Egyptians valued garnets as beads for pharaoh’s necklaces and buried them in tombs with mummies. Carved garnets adorned signet rings used to stamp wax seals in ancient Rome, and red garnets were popular among clergy and nobility in the Middle Ages from around 475 to 1450 AD. Around 1600, the beloved “Bohemian” pyrope garnets of Czechoslovakia gave garnet a boost of interest in Victorian and other jewelry that lasted until the beginning of the 20th century. Slices of garnets have even been used in church windows.

Garnets are a far-and-wide-ranging group of gems that cover virtually every color of the rainbow. Garnets are commonly found in shades of red and purplish-red, oranges, yellows, and greens. Garnet ranks a 6.5-7.5 on Mohs’ hardness scale. 

CARE INSTRUCTIONS:Warm soapy water and a soft brush are ideal for cleaning garnets. Ultrasonic cleaners are usually considered safe for garnet, but steam cleaners should be avoided. Garnet can fracture when exposed to abrupt, extreme temperature changes.