Garnet – The Protector

Being totally obsessed with gemstones, (and anything that sparkles for that matter) it seems only natural to start a blog post series on gemstones and their folklore.  So….here we go!

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Garnet, the birthstone for January,  is also the astrological birthstone for those born under the zodiac sign of Aquarius.

The word  Garnet  comes from the Latin word – granatum (seed), or granatus (having many seeds) – due to the gem’s strong resemblance to pomegranate seeds.

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Folklore surrounds the Garnet – some believed the stone to be a talisman and protector – illuminating the night, and protecting the wearer from evil – and so, it became a common amulet for travelers.

Garnet is also said to provide strength, inspiration, compassion, creativity & rejuvenation.    In earlier times, garnets were exchanged as gifts between friends to demonstrate their affection for each other and to insure that they meet again.

While birthstone gems are commonly known, there are flowers associated with one’s birth month as well.  The flower associated for those born in January is the snowdrop.

Aside from charts and articles I have collected over the years, the majority of the information for this post (and future posts)  comes from a wonderful used book I found on gemstones by George Frederick Kunz.  My  favorite section of this book contains short poems for each month – ‘Sentiments of The Months’:

January

No gems save garnets should be worn

By her who in this month is born;

They will insure her constancy,

True friendship and fidelity.

The gleaming garnet holds within its sway

Faith, constancy, and truth to one always.

Up next for this series is Amethyst – my favorite stone – I love, love, love purple!

What are your favorite gemstones?  Let me know in the comments below… they may show up in my spring gemstone jewelry line (coming soon)….

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