Garnet Gemstone: More Than Just a Birthstone
The Garnet gemstone is the birthstone of January. The stone is a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors ranging from a deep red/orange of the Mandarin Garnet to a green color of the Tsavorite and the usually recognized Pyrope Garnet. It can be given for the second, sixth, and nineteenth wedding anniversaries and it symbolizes eternal friendship and trust. The name comes from the Latin word granatum meaning "seed-like" referencing it to a pomegranate because of it's looks and color. The garnet gemstone is an interesting stone in terms of history, legends, and Greek mythology.
The Garnet gemstone was found as inlays in the jewelry of a deceased man dating back to 3000 B.C. It was very popular in France in the 18th and 19th centuries and was found prominently in jewelry during the Victorian Era. It was also popular in Old Spain because of its similarity to the pomegranate, which was a favorite during that time period.
A legend says that Noah used a finely cut, glowing Garnet stone to illuminate the ark during the dark of night. Hebrew writers state the Garnet stone was one of twelve stones in the breastplate of Aaron and the blood-red color of the stone symbolizes Christ's sacrifice. In medieval times, the stone was used to cure depression, protect people from bad dreams, and even relieve liver diseases and hemorrhages.
In Greek mythology, Hades gives a pomegranate to Persephone before she leaves him to ensure a speedy return. Consequently, the Garnet gemstone also represents separated love and a quick return. Today, the stone would be a respectful gift for someone leaving another to bond lovers and to help a broken heart.
The Garnet gemstone symbolizes several different things including love, friendship, trust, and a swift return by separated lovers. It's a great anniversary gift and January birthday gift.
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