Garnets have been used for many years as semi-precious gemstones in both jewellery and other adornments such as swords or goblets and the kind of stuff I imagine big ol’ Henry fashioning in the 1500’s for guzzling wine at royal parties.
Garnets are a strong stone and are found in a stunning variety of colours. Of these, the most commonly known is red. The name garnet comes from the Latin granatum meaning pomegranate; this is said to be because the little red stones look like pomegranate seeds.
Garnets are the stone of purity, truth, love and compassion. The gems are said to award high self- esteem to a wearer and are used to find success in business (I just discovered this too so I’ll be testing the theory and keeping these garnet bracelets on my desk before they all get sold!)
As well as offering popularity and long lasting friendships, garnets are said to cure depression, protect travellers and used to heal certain ailments such as fever or arthritis when worn in contact with the skin. The list of further health benefits can be found here. (I will let you decide for yourself how best to wear garnet in contact with the skin for the other listed ailments. I’m thinking specialist jewellery…)
The largest garnet found to date was in Central Australia in 1996. It was found by a University student and measures almost 100 feet across. He was probably studying geography.
Finally, Garnet is the birthstone for January. I found this anonymous poem on Wikipedia – I’m not certain if it was, in fact, made up by a Tiffany & Co. representative 143 years ago, but it was published in 1870 and is stated to be a Gregorian Birthstone poem:
“By her who in this month (January) is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.”
I will publish the rest of the poem month by month as I blog, but if that irritates you, you can find it here in its entirety.