January: Garnets

January: Garnets

Garnet: click here to see all our products containing garnet stones!

Garnet is a group of several closely related silicate minerals. Garnets come in a variety of colors but the most well known is the dark red hue.  All species of garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms, but differ in chemical composition.  Garnets are rated between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.

The word garnet comes from the 14th‑century Middle English word gernet, meaning 'dark red'. It is derived from the Latin granatus, from granum ('grain, seed'). This is possibly a reference to mela granatum or even pomum granatum, pomegranate, Punica granatum), a plant whose fruits contain abundant and vivid red seed covers, which are similar in shape, size, and color to some garnet crystals. (Wikipedia)

Red garnets were the most commonly used gemstone in the Roman Empire, as well as after the Romans, with the people who took over the Western Roman Empire.  Garnet Cloisonne is the name of the style of jewelery/art where the garnet is placed in a gold cell.  This style was found across what is now Europe.

Today garnets are still used as gemstones all across the world.  Garnets are well known as the birthstone for January. Garnet is the stone for Aquarius, which covers January 21st to February 20th.

Garnets are also recognized as state minerals and gemstones across the United States.  It is the state mineral of Connecticut and New York. Idaho’s state gemstone is the star garnet and Vermont’s state gemstone is the grossular garnet.