Friday, January 2, 2009

Garnet is January's Birthstone

Glowing red in shades from pomegranate to maroon Garnet is the beautiful birth stone of January.

Garnet is a semiprecious gemstone with a hardness on the Moh's scale ranging from 6.5-7.5 which makes it a very resilient stone. It occurs in colors other than red, actually in every color except blue, depending on the combination of elements in the stone. Iron and chromium make it red.
Throughout history Garnets have been mistaken for rubies because of their tendency to seem a different shade of red when viewed from multiple angles under light.
The beautiful luminosity of garnet is caused by its high quality refraction of light.
Garnet was first mined in Sri Lanka over 2500 years ago. It is also mined in Africa, Australia, India, Russia and The United States. As a matter of interest their are garnet mines in our own Adirondack mountains. The Barton Mines are located near Gore Mountain, in a small community called North River. The Barton Mines offer tours that teach you about the history of the mines and allow you to search for your own garnets.
Archaeologists have found primitive style garnet jewelry that dates the decorative use of garnet to the Bronze Age.
Garnets have been found in jewelry from Egyptian, Greek and Roman eras.
Throughout time explorers and travelers have worn garnet as a talisman for protection.
Soldiers from many cultures have worn garnet, also known as the warrior's stone, as a talisman against death and injury because they believed it to have to power to control bleeding..
Garnet is associated with the root chakra.
It was once said to cure melancholy and to warm the heart.
It is a protective stone as well as a stone of romantic love.
It is said that garnet encourages positive thoughts and increases energy.

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