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It’s January – and that means it’s time to highlight garnets. You may already know that garnets are the birthstone for January, but did you know that garnets aren’t always the deep red colour we immediately picture?
It’s true! Garnets are most commonly red, but they come in a wide variety of colours from oranges and yellows to purples and vibrant greens. The rarest garnet is a blue stone discovered in the late ’90s that shows purple and red streaks in the light! Garnet’s colour variation is due to the fact that there are many species of garnet, each with its own molecular structure. Because each garnet is a unique combination of species, these gems are truly able to surprise in their richness of colour, whatever that colour may be.
The traditional red garnet has its own magic! Called garnet from the Latin for pomegranate, grenatus, in honour of their rich red colour, they have long been used as status symbols. Pharaohs and medieval nobility are known to have favoured the rich red of garnets, and signet rings were often set with this gem. Perhaps garnet’s association with important figures is because the red has been said to shine with an internal light like fire or hot coal. Or, perhaps, because this gem is said to bring good health, wealth, creativity, peace of mind, and happiness.
Whatever you may believe, garnets are a real showstopper! Enjoy your noble garnet, January babies!