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The birthstone for January is the garnet.
The name “garnet” is derived from the Latin “granatum” meaning “pomegranate” because the crystals resemble the fruit’s red color and seed-like form. Most people think of the garnet as a red gemstone, but in fact, it exists in all kinds of colors – such as black – as well as many shades of red and green. It can even be colorless. The garnet’s variety of colors comes from metals such as manganese, iron, calcium, and aluminum. Some varieties even contain mineral fibers that produce the illusion of a four- or six-rayed star within the stone. Green garnets are most highly prized but are very rare. Emerald green and colorless stones are highly valued, followed by pure red garnets.
As with many precious stones, garnets were once believed to hold medicinal powers. In Medieval times, it protected its wearer against poisons, wounds and bad dreams, and cured depression. Red garnets relieved fever, hemorrhages and inflammatory diseases.
January’s birthstone, the garnet, symbolizes a light heart, loyalty and enduring affections.