A person who was born in January is associated with particular birthstone. What is the birthstone for January? The answer is garnet. It symbolizes deep friendship and happiness. Moreover, garnet signifies purity, victory, friendship, protection, truth, and faith. This red gemstone is not only valuable and used in jewelries. It is also used for other purposes. They are grinding, abrasive coating, abrasive air blasting, waterjet cutting, and filtration.
The name of this gemstone is derived from ‘granatum’. It means seed. It is named like that because its color similar to pomegranate seed color. Actually, garnets have wide spectrum of color. The most common one is deep red. Other colors of garnets are orange, brown, yellow, pink, purple, and colorless. Blue garnet is very rare. In 1990s, the first garnet in tones of blue was found in Madagascar.
The January birthstone is durable. It will still be bright and brilliant even after you have it for years. Due to its durability and strength, it is not easily scratches. As a result, you can wear garnet jewelry without worry. This valuable gemstone is not easily broken either.
The Birthstone for January: Origin
Garnet can be found in many countries all over the world. The best garnet is mined from metamorphic rock formation which has alluvial deposit. Different place usually have garnets in different color spectrum.
- Deep red garnet (Pyrope) can be found in China, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, the United State, and South Africa.
- Orange garnet (Spessartine) is found in Sri Lanka, Kenya, Brazil, the United Sate, and Tanzania. The richest orange garnet has been found in Namibia.
- Redish brown garnet (Almandine) can be found in the United State, Brazil, Sri Lanka,and India.
- Reddish brown, orange, green, and black-streaked color (Andradite) is pretty rare. But, it is found in France, the United State, Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.
The Birthstone for January: History
Some of the oldest garnet was found in 2100 BC at Sumeria and 3100 BC at Egypt. Ancient Egyptians loved garnet jewelry. In their culture, this gemstone is the symbol of life. Their fondness for this stone can be seen by the discovery of this jewelry on ancient graves and tombs.
The January birthstone was also popular in Rome during the 4th century. Roman warriors used them as talisman against injury and death. During the Victorian times, garnet was mostly used in jewelry.
The Birthstone for January: Properties and Size
Garnet is considered as silicate minerals. Its Mohs Scale of Hardness is 6.5 to 7.5. Some garnet is transparent and others have opaque coloring.
To this day, the largest garnet weighs 10 lbs. its diameter is about 15 inches. This enormous garnet is called Sewer, Kunz Garnet, or Subway. It is found in New York City and, as you can guest, under a subway. Now, this garnet is exhibited in American Museum of Natural History that is located in Manhattan.
The Birthstone for January: Healing Power
Many people believe that garnet possess some healing power. It is believed that this gemstone can heal several health problems that are related to lungs, heart, and blood. It is used to heal halt hemorrhaging and inflammatory disorder. Some people also believe that the January birthstone can fight evils. Placing garnet under the pillow will help you avoid bad dreams and protect you from Evil Eye.
The healing power of garnet can even help you to have better relationship. It is said that wearing garnet jewelry can strengthen your relationship with your spouse and friends. If your love relationship is not satisfying, you have to wear this jewelry. This gemstone is believed to be capable inspire love, increase sexuality, and sensuality. Meanwhile, ancient soothsayers used this stone to heal wounds.
They placed garnet inside an open wound in order to stop the bleeding. In conclusion, this gemstone does not only have spiritual healing power but also physical healing power.
The Birthstone for January: Caring and Cleaning
If you have garnet jewelry, you need to know how to care and clean it. The right maintenance will make your gemstone look shinning and brilliant. Though it is very durable and considered as excellent every day wear, you need to wear it with care. When you wear this jewelry, you must avoid contact with chemical and extreme temperature. To avoid damage and scratch, you had better put it off when you are washing dishes, swimming, and gardening.
Moreover, you need to clean your garnet jewelry regularly. To clean it, use a mix of warm water and mild soap. Wipe the gemstone carefully and use soft cloth to dry it. You can also use ultrasonic cleaner to clean this red gemstone. It is better for you to avoid steam cleaning to clean this stone. This particular method can make your garnet in contact with heat. Heat can make it less durable so that it will be easily damaged.