Garnet is January's birthstone, find out why garnets still continue to surprise and Dazzle!
In the frost and chill of winter January marks a month of New Beginning, and what better way to mark new beginnings than with a birthstone that has withstood the test of time but still continues to surprise and dazzle: the Garnet. The Garnet is a stone of strength, loyalty, vigor and faithful love. If any of those qualities sound like the January baby in your life come in to Cynthia Findlay Antiques and we will help you select a very special antique or vintage garnet jewellery treasure.
Curious to know more about January's birthstone? The most common colour for Garnet is a deep red, however these gemstones can also be found in shades of orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, pink and (on very rare occasions) blue.
Garnet can be cut to showcase a high glasslike shine or can be found in a resinous, bead quality in longer necklaces or earrings.
Garnet rates a 6.5 - 7.5 on the MOHs scale of hardness.
The word 'Garnet' is claimed to descend from the Latin word 'Garanatus', meaning seed-like; as the garnet closely resembles the rich, juicy red seeds of a pomegranate. It's from this resemblance to pomegranates that many of the most intriguing mythologies surrounding January's birthstone were born.
In Greek mythology Hades is said to have given a pomegranate to Persephone before she left him to ensure her speedy return. A garnet given to your beloved is thought to hold the same power to help heal the bond of distance and ensure a safe and speedy return. What a lovely sentiment an antique or vintage garnet bracelet or necklace would make in reminding the wearer to follow their heart back home to you after their travels.
Garnets have been called the 'women's stone' as their color and ties to the pomegranate are a reminder of the power and fertility of the female womb. Many men wear garnet as well, and in fact the King of Saxony is said to have a Garnet weighing over 465 carats!
A Legendary stone, Garnet boasts a long and interesting history.
One of the earliest discoveries of garnet was as a necklace in the grave of a young man from 3000 BC (the Bronze Age). Egyptian pharaohs wore garnet both as decoration and as part of their ceremonial garb to symbolize their strength and endurance. Plato had his portrait engraved on a garnet by a Roman engraver. Stories say that the 'Barbarians' who took over the Western Roman Empire wore the Garnet stone to improve their strength and perseverance as warriors. Garnets have also enjoyed popularity in many different cultures and religions, and can be seen decorating Bohemian churches as well as in many religious texts.
Garnet held incredible popularity in Victorian jewelry during the 18th and 19th centuries, and many breathtaking Victorian necklaces, bracelets and earrings can be found here at Cynthia Findlay antiques.
Garnet is not only the stone of separated lovers, January birthdays and new beginnings, it is also the official gemstone for the second year of marriage.
We invite you to give the gift of meaning and lore this January, in the form of a unique vintage or antique piece of Garnet jewelry from our collection.