What is the Birthstone for January?
The January Birthstone is Garnet.
A gemstones that symbolizes a person's month of birth in the Gregorian Calendar is called a Birthstone.
These types of gemstone are commonly known as birthday stones and sometimes used as an anniversary gift related to the person's age and year of birth. Garnet is considered as the modern January birthstone and is also the gem designated for the 2nd and the 6th wedding anniversary. Garnet, having pure crystals, are commonly used as gemstones shaped for jewelry.
Where Does the Name Garnet Come From?
Garnets are often found in the shade of red but are also seen in a wide variety of colors. The name Garnet is derived from the latin “granatus” meaning “grain” and refers to Punica granatum, commonly known as the pomegranate, a fruit that has red seeds that are similar in shape, color, and size to some garnet crystals.
Historical Uses Of Garnet
Jewelry that is made out of garnet has been discovered as early as the Bronze Age, about 3000 BC in burial sites. The garnet is a mineral used since the Bronze Age as an abrasive and as a decorative gemstone.
The garnet is considered one of the root chakra stones. It gets its name from the Latin Granatum, for seed and similarity to the red pomegranate seed. It is the birthstone for those born in the month of January and represents strength and nobility.
Garnet was believed to protect the dead in the after life by early communities. In the middle ages, primitive cultures believed that red stones would stop people from bleeding. Early cultures believed that garnets were helpful in preventing and curing blood infections and disorders.
Types of Garnet
There are six common kinds of garnet and they are named based on the mineral's chemical composition. The six common species are pyrope, spessartite, grossular, almandine, uvarovite, and andradite.
Garnet can be found in many different colors including orange, red, blue, purple, green, brown, pink, black, and colorless. The rarest of them all is the blue garnet, which was discovered in the late 1990's in Madagascar. The blue garnet can also be found in some parts of the United States, Turkey and Russia. The blue garnet can change color from blue green during daytime to purple in incandescent light because of the presence of a high amount of vanadium. In some instances, the color may change to the shades of gray, brown, green, beige, and blue.
The Chemical Structure of Garnet
Garnets crystallize in a cubic system, they have three axis that are all equal in length and are perpendicular to each other. They do not show cleavage so they form sharp irregular pieces when exposed to mechanical stress.
The chemical composition of garnet can differ and the atomic bonds in some are stronger than in others. This mineral group has a range of hardness on the Mohs Scale of 6.5 to 7.5. They are often used for abrasive purposes.
Modern Uses of Garnet
Garnets are the main mineral used when it comes to interpreting the origin of many metamorphic and igneous rocks using an instrument called the geo-thermo barometer. This is due to the diffusion of elements being slower in garnet than many other minerals and gemstones.
One of the most effective abrasives and the most common replacement for silica sand used in sand blasting is garnet sand. If you mix garnet sand with very high pressure water, it can be used to cut steel and other materials in hydroelectric jets. Garnet sand can also be used for water filtration.
Some of the Metaphysical Properties of Garnet
Below are some of the supposed metaphysical properties of the Garnet gemstone:
• The garnet supports regeneration and energy, with the ability to bring stability and order to chaos within one’s life and surroundings. Garnet assists in regenerating the body and stimulating the metabolism.
• Garnet is a protective energy stone, said to bring protection from evil, nightmares, wounds and during travel. In ancient times it was worn by warriors to protect from being poisoned. It is also used to release bad karma.
• Because it’s a root chakra stone it will assist in grounding a person’s dreams in reality, helping to bring success and prosperity into the realization of those dreams. The square cut garnet is used to bring success in business ventures.
• Emotional healing and stability are assisted by the garnet. It is also considered a stone that assists in bring an increase in commitment, honest, hope and faith. A stone of ‘positive thoughts, it can ward off and bring release from depression.
• Physical healing properties have long been associated with the garnet. It is said to be especially beneficial when it comes to heart health, assisting the body’s ability in being able to normalize blood pressure and regulate the internal rhythms of the heart. It’s also said to help with healing ADD/ADHD, anemia as well as other blood related illnesses and more.
• Not just a root chakra, the garnet is also associated with the heart chakra. This means it is also used to balance, bring into line and purify negative energy from all the chakras and aura.
• The garnet assists in bringing into one’s life, serenity and passion, a balancing of the sex drive and lowering emotional disharmony. It removes inhibitions while enhancing sexual pleasure, and brings feelings of warmth, understanding, sincerity and trust into a relationship.
• The garnet activates and strengthens the survival instinct by bringing courage and hope and self-confidence. It’s useful for helping in turning around a challenge or crisis as well as helping to overcome traumatic experiences in life. It is said to be especially useful when one feels there is no way out or when the life has been splintered.
• The garnet is used to access ancient memories during times of meditation and helps in ridding the mind attitudes or behaviors that plague the unconscious.