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The garnet is the official birthstone for the month of January as named by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912. It can also be given as a milestone gem on the second and sixth anniversaries. These scintillating gemstones come in a gorgeous array of colors including orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, black and colorless; but the sultry, red garnet is by far the most popular.

The most common forms of granite are almandine, spessartine, grossular, andradite and pyrope. The rarest type of garnet is blue. The most recent discovery of this rare gem was found in Madagascar in the late 1990’s.  Garnets usually rate a 6.5 to 7.5 in hardness according to the Moh’s scale. They are typically found in Latin America, some parts of Europe, Africa, Asia and India. The name garnet is derived from the Latin word granatus meaning grain. Some scholars believe that its name may reference to the word punica granatum, which means pomegranate; which is a plant that is filled with small red seeds that resemble garnet crystals. Garnet is believed to be beneficial to one’s health because it absorbs negative energy and turns it into positive energy. This gemstone is often referred to as the “stone of health”. Garnets are believed to help enhance one’s creativity and help bring one’s ideas into fruition. It helps fight depression and balances the sex drive. Garnet is said to be beneficial in helping heal disorders of the bone, spine and spinal fluid, cells, lungs, heart and blood. This gemstone is said to be helpful in any condition requiring regenerative forces and helps boost the immune system.

Garnets have also been named a “stone of commitment”. The gemstone’s powers tend to heighten attributes such as devotion and understanding. The most popular color, red, is often associated with love. Around St. Valentine’s Day, many stores decorate their stores with a red theme and the sales of garnet jewelry skyrocket. It’s no coincidence; many people associate that deep, rich color with expressions of warmth and understanding. There is one specific type of garnet that is believed to help one remember dreams. Star garnet is also said to give its owner moments of extreme insight to help them arrive at the honorable decision when facing a dilemma.

Garnets may be the birthstone for anyone born in January, but these illustrious gemstones make a perfect keepsake gift all year round.

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