Gemstone of the Month: JANUARY

Gemstone of the Month: JANUARY
NAME: Garnet MEANING: Garnet comes from the 14th century word ‘gernet’ meaning dark red and possibly derived from the latin ‘pomum granatum’; pomegranate. COMMON SPECIES: Pyrope (red), Almandine (dark red), Rhodolite (rose red/violet), Spessartine (orange/red), Hessonite (orange brown), Tsavorite (green) and Demantoid (green). COLOUR: Usually red but can be all colours. MOHS HARDNESS: 6.5-7.5 OPTICAL PROPERTIES: Single refractive HISTORY IN JEWELLERY: Garnet beads have been found in graves dating from 3000BC. TREATMENTS AND ENHANCEMENTS: Garnet gemstones are not enhanced and their colours are always natural. LEGENDS: In medieval times garnet was thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams and relieve diseases of the liver. GIFTING: In Greek mythology a pomegranate is a gift of love as associated with eternity. Nowadays, garnet remains a gift of love. Symbolically garnet is given to a separated love to ensure a speedy return and often gifted before a loved one embarks on a trip. ASSOCIATIONS: Birthstone for January. Often gifted for the 2nd, 6th or 19th wedding anniversary. It’s the state mineral for Connecticut and the state gemstone for Idaho. SIMILAR GEMSTONES: Dark red spinel and rubellite tourmaline can be confused with almandine and pyrope garnets. Generally ruby is a lighter red colour. CARING FOR GARNET: Clean with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Ultrasonic treatment is fine for all varieties other than demantoid. Not suitable for steam cleaning. Protect from sharp blows, harsh temperatures and chemicals.