Christina Parker Photography

"Preserving Time for Generations to Come"

January’s Birthstone Garnet January 31, 2009

Filed under: Birthstones — precioussadies @ 3:49 am

Garnet like a pomegranate

The seeds of a pomegranate fruit, show how deep and red a garnet is, and possibly is related to a garnet because of the colour, shape, and size.    Garnet comes from the Latin word “granatus,” meaning “grain” or “seed.”   Moh’s hardnes is 6.5-7.5.  The mineral’s luster is considered to be glass like.

Garnets species are found in many colors including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, brown, black, pink and colorless. The rarest  the blue garnet, discovered in the late 1990s in Bekily , Madagascar. 

Pure crystals of garnet are used as gemstones.  Garnet sand is a good abrasive that is used in sand blasting, or mixed with water, can also be use to cut steel with water jets.

First mined in Sri Lanka over 2,500 years ago, the garnet is also found in Africa, Australia, India, Russia, South America; and in the United States, in Arizona and Idaho.  Although most commonly known as a red gemstone, the garnet comes in a variety of other hues, including muted yellows, vibrant oranges, rosy pinks, lime greens, violets, brown, black and colourless – an artist palate of colours.  This diversity is due to unique combinations of elements within each particular gem, such as iron, calcium, and aluminum.  

The garnet continues to be the protective gem of journeyers. A gift of garnet is thought to be symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one’s safe travel and speedy homecoming.  It is my birthstone, but far from being only a winter gem, the garnet, with its brilliance and multitude of colors, can be appreciated for any season.


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