Not too long ago we featured the history and lore of the garnet in a post as part of the Heritage Jewellery blog to discuss the fascinating history and reasons (beyond their obvious beauty) why in 2015 garnets continue to be so popular and remain one of the five most precious stones known to man along with sapphires, rubies, emeralds and of course diamonds.
Now, with the New Year fast approaching, we return to further celebrate all things garnet inlaid as with the New Year upon us so too is the month January and with it comes the time to celebrate Januarys stunning birthstone: the garnet.
Giving Meaning: The Etymology of the Garnet
The term garnet, derives from the word granatum which translates to mean seed and is said to derive from the fact that natural garnets appear to resemble pomegranate halves both in their colour and formation. Then, when thinking of how the garnet is said to symbolise eternal friendship, what better way to celebrate the birthday of a friend born into the world in January than to give the seed of eternal friendship itself?
The Gem of Faith: Garnets as Talismans
Garnets have long been used as a talisman by tribes and religious sects who believed that the garnet would bring them protection against unwanted dangers and evil spirits. In fact, the garnets curative and shielding powers have been believed in and celebrated since the Ancient Egyptians dubbed it the stone of life in 3100 BC.
Today the garnet continues to adorn jewellery and be worn as a both the January stone and too by many who believe the garnet to be the gem of faith as the garnet is said to hold the power to endow its wearer with yearlong happiness, restore health and even bring wealth to its owner. Perhaps this is why many also believe that despite its characteristic fiery colour, the garnet is brings its wearer peace and tranquillity.
Green with Envy: The Tsavorite Garnet
Whilst garnets are synonymous with and most often seen showcasing the blood red quality that has come to inform their significance as a stone which symbolises unbreakable ties between different people, red is not the only colour in which garnets are found. So, for those born in January but who do not happen to wear or like characteristic red garnets, tsavorite garnet jewellery could for example prove the perfect gift.
Brilliantly green and not dissimilar in that regard to vibrant emeralds, the tsavorite garnets is a young stone despite its considerably long geological history. It is described and understood to be young as it was only first discovered close to Tanzania by geologist Dr. Campbell R Bridges in the 1900s. The tsavorite garnet has since been steadily gaining in popularity after famous jewellery makers Tiffany and Co. First began featuring it in their own designs during the 1970s.
Green being as well synonymous with nature, growth and new life, green garnets provide those born in January with an unusual and beautiful way to celebrate both their coming into the world and to the beginning of a brand new year.