Throughout the ages, Garnet has always been noted for its deep, rich color. Ancient legends state that the Garnet could never be hidden, that even under clothing its glowing light would shine forth. This quality of revealing that which is hidden may be the reason why Garnets were thought to help illuminate the mind so that it could see back into past incarnations.
Garnet traces its roots to the Nile Delta in 3100 B.C., where Egyptian artisans would craft the gemstone into beads or inlay them into hand-wrought jewelry. Noah used garnet as a lamp on his bow as he cast about on the ocean. Garnet received its name from the ancient Greeks because the color reminded them of the "granatum," or pomegranate seed.
The versatile garnet comes in a virtual rainbow of colors, from the deep red Bohemian Garnet to the vibrant greens of the Russian demantoid and African tsavorite. The oranges and browns of spessartite and hessonite hail from Namibia and Sri Lanka and the subtle pinks and purples of the rhododendron flower, are also yours to explore.
Garnet is the traditional birthstone for the month of January, however, red need not be your color of choice if you are born in this month. Rich orange and golden hues, striking greens, petal soft colors of violet and lavender, all await your selection.
Most commonly found in round, oval, and cushion cuts. Availability depends on variety: tsavorite is very difficult to find in sizes above a carat or two, while rhodolite garnet is available in larger sizes.
This durable and brilliant gem is easy to care for with mild dish soap: use a toothbrush to scrub behind the gemstone where dust can collect.