Garnet was officially dubbed the birthstone of January in 1912 by the American National Association of Jewelers. It is also the gemstone for the Zodiac sign Aquarius. While most well-known for its hues of deep red or burgundy, Garnet occurs in almost every color, though it is extremely rare to see a blue form of Garnet. The name “garnet” comes from the Latin word “Garanatus,” which means “seedlike,” in reference to a pomegranate - as small garnets look like the vibrant red seeds you find inside in a pomegranate.
Garnet's symbolism is rich and varied. Cultures all over the world have prized this gemstone for its beautiful colors and durability. The traditional January birthstone has also inspired many legends and popular associations. They are said to provide a valuable source of protection and to enhance friendships, alleviate a sense of isolation, mitigate stubbornness, improve self-confidence, and provide balance. Garnets are lucky for love, success and for achieving goals.
Garnet is a powerful energizing and regenerative stone. It balances, strengthens and protects. While it is one of the most plentiful stones, it has several forms according to its mineral base, and in addition to all the healing and spiritual properties.
Historically, garnets were believed to provide protection for the wearer. Medieval warriors wore garnet talismans to prevent being wounded in battle. They believed wearing a garnet would help bring luck and victory. Native American healers thought garnet had the power to protect the wearer from wounds and poisoning, prevent nightmares, and even cure depression.
Perhaps the strongest alleged virtue of the garnet, is its ability to help one overcome depression. The stone has been thought to dissolve negative behavior patterns, and conquer resistance or self-induced unconscious sabotage. Garnet is said to aid in letting go of useless or old ideas. The stone revitalizes, purifies and balances energy and brings serenity as the wearer needs.
What better stone for those born in January? With a new year upon us, we are all ready for a fresh start and chance to improve our health and happiness. Wishing all of those January birthdays serenity and balance in the coming year!