Garnets have been some of the most beloved gems for a long long time. These stones have a long history with humans, whether in their natural stone form or as faceted gems.
January is usually when we all start hoping for warmer days, looking forward to the Spring and Summer months. The warm red of a classic Garnet is perfect for that mood and feeling. After all, a deep red Garnet can look an awful lot like burning embers, reminding you of the warmth of a fire.
Garnets are also a deeply romantic stones. Red has long been associated with matters of the heart, and it makes sense that we would want to honor the depth of relationships and the importance of all the different kinds of love in our lives.
Of course, every birthstone has a lot of reasons why they make sense for each month, and why you might enjoy wearing birthstone jewelry made from those stones. Even my handmade birthstone jewelry is inspired by some of those themes, like the romance and summery feeling of the roses in my Rose and Garnet post earrings.
But there is so much more to every stone, and so much more to love and appreciate about the birthstone we love and enjoy.
Here are 5 things you probably don’t know about Garnets that make Garnet birthstone jewelry, and especially handmade Garnet jewelry, so special.
Interesting Facts About Garnets: History, Lore, and Color
Garnets Have Long Been Associated With Pomegranates
Garnets have such a long history with humans that the name for the stone actually comes from a Latin word, granatum, which means seed or seed-like.
In this case, the name is because Garnets look an awful lot like pomegranate seeds sometimes, depending on how they have been cut or polished, or even sometimes in their natural shapes!
That pomegranate connection also comes with its own lore connections as well. The Greek goddess Persephone was also associated with Garnets, because she ate an underworld pomegranate that meant she had to return to the underworld when she left.
Because one of Hades’ lesser known powers was creating gems, Garnets are a particularly apt symbol for both the underworld pomegranate, and the goddess that ate it, Persephone.
Garnets Were Worn And Loved By The Ancient Egyptians And Romans
Garnets are some of the first stones that were identified for their beauty and value by people. They were prized by the Ancient Egyptians, which means that they are among some of the very first stones used in jewelry and decorative wall frescoes.
Egyptian Pharaohs often wore Garnets, and also decorated their tombs with the stones, and considered Garnets important for a few reasons. Like all gemstones, Garnets were a way to show the wealth and power of the Pharaoh and their family, but they were also considered an incredibly protective stone.
Garnets were sometimes called the life stone by the Egyptians and were thought to be protective both in life and in the afterlife, preserving your vitality, protecting you from danger, and generally making your life and afterlife more vibrant and fulfilling.
Romans, particularly Roman generals, also loved the Garnet and wore it in jewelry and amulets similar to how Egyptians wore the stone. The Romans also viewed Garnets as a life stone, connected to vitality and as a protective stone you could wear to keep yourself safe.
Garnets Come In A Huge Range Of Colors And Hues
When we talk about Garnets, most people think of the deep red hues of many-faceted Garnets, but don’t know that Garnets are one of the stones that comes in a wide variety of colors. Like another famous gem, Sapphires, Garnets come in a huge rainbow, including reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and, most recently, blues and blue-green.
In fact, the ‘blue’ form of Garnets, which are almost always more blue-green than blue, were only just discovered in the 1990s.
Red Garnets are still the most common high-quality stones, but the other colors and hues of Garnet can be just as striking and beautiful.
Of course, since Red Garnets are the most common and the most well-known, most Garnet jewelry, including my handmade jewelry, comes in a range of red hues.
High-Quality Garnets Come In A Wide Range Of Shapes And Sizes
One of the incredible things about Garnets is that they are found in a huge range of shapes and sizes, and can get much larger than many of the other natural stones of similar color and quality.
That means that there is a wide range of Garnet jewelry from natural stones, large and small, to faceted Garnets in a range of sizes and shapes. It also means that jewelers and artisans like me can really experiment with Garnets because there are fewer limitations on what’s available. Garnets are durable and can hold up to a lot of shaping and different presentations.
Garnets Are Considered The Stone Of Friendship
A lot of people already know that Garnets are romantic stones that can further your relationships, or show love and affection for the most important people in your life. But did you know that it’s also a symbol of friendship?
Because there is such a long history of Garnets and people wearing them and using them in art and as decoration, there are also a ton of meanings attached to Garnet stones. Given the strong connection between Garnets and life, love, relationships, and friends, it’s clear that this has long been thought of as a powerful and positive stone.
Now that you know a little more about Garnets you’ll have a better understanding of why this special stone was made January’s birthstone. Maybe you even have some inspiration for Garnet jewelry you want in your collection.
Of course, if you have something specific in mind, you can always contact me to discuss custom jewelry ideas.