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Garnet January Birthstone

Garnet is January birthstone. This stone is believed to get its name from the Latin word granatum, meaning seed, because of its similarities to the pomegranate fruit seed. In Greek mythology, a pomegranate was often given as a gift of passion and associated with eternal love. In ancient history, travelers wore garnet gemstones because they were believed to light up the night and provide protection from nightmares and accidents. In modern days, Garnet remains as a gift of love and is traditionally given for the 19th anniversary of marriage. It may also be used as a gift for two-year and six-year anniversaries.
Garnet is a name used to describe a diverse group of silicate minerals that include almandine, pyrope, spessartine, grossular, andradite, mozambique and uvarovite. The deep wine red color of almandine garnet results from iron and chromium and the name “garnet” tends to apply to this variety. Garnets can display different colors in different types of light and occasionally will showcase faint four-rayed asterism.

Garnet is quite a durable stone, rating a 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. The Mohs hardness scale is a qualitative scale of hardness ranging from the numbers 1-10, 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest. These numbers characterize the scratch resistance of minerals by using harder materials to scratch softer materials.

Garnets are found in metamorphic and igneous rocks. They form under extremely high temperatures and pressure. Garnet deposits are found in Africa, India, Russia, South America, Madagascar, Pakistan and the United States.

To keep your Garnet stones clean and sparkly clean them with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Rinse the stone well after washing it. Ultrasonic treatments may be used for most garnets, except the demantoid variety. Steam cleaning garnets may cause color changes from the heat. Protect garnet from sharp blows, extreme temperature changes, and harsh chemicals.

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