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January Birthstone: Garnet

Jan 2nd, 2013

January Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet, the birthstone for January, signifies eternal friendship and trust and is the perfect gift for a friend.

Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed.  The gemstone varieties occur in shades of green, red, yellow, and orange.

References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 BCE, when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays jewelry. Red garnets were the most commonly used gemstones in the Late Antique Roman world, and the Migration Period art of the “barbarian” people who took over the territory of the Western Roman Empire. They were especially used inlaid in gold cells in the cloisonné technique, a style often just called garnet cloisonné, found from Anglo-Saxon England, as at Sutton Hoo, to the Black Sea.

Pure crystals of garnet are still used as gemstones.

Garnet is the state mineral of Connecticut, New York’s gemstone, and star garnet (garnet with rutile asterisms) is the state gemstone of Idaho.

Today, the most important sources for garnet are Africa, Sri Lanka, and India.

Sources:

American Gem Society

Wikipedia

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