Gemstone Profiles: Garnet

Start off the New Year with a blast – a blast of color that is!  This month’s birthstone is Garnet, a beautiful gemstone that can be found far and wide from the deserts of the Southwestern United States to the jungles of Africa.  The most common coloring is a deep brick red but Garnet also comes in several other unusual colors.

The name Garnet originates from the Latin words “granatum malum”, meaning pomegranate.  Items of jewelry made from this charming gem have been found in tombs dating as early 3000 B.C.  Ancient tribes of people believed the stone would offer protection in the afterlife.  Its deep red coloring convinced many early civilizations that the stone would cure blood infections and other related illnesses.  In the Middle Ages it was thought that Garnet would even help to stop bleeding!

The rich colors of Garnet are sought after all over the world and work well with any wardrobe, coming in dark reds, purples, oranges, yellows, and even bright greens!  But this year, you’ll want to stick with the earthy wine red, as the Pantone Color Institute has just declared “Marsala” to be the 2015 Color of the Year, stating that the color “enriches our minds, bodies and souls”.

Native Americans rarely use gems such as Garnet, but our silversmiths are always up for a custom challenge!  Contact us for ideas on using this January gem!

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