As a January birthstone, garnet provides a versatile family of affordable gems that can be enjoyed year-round.
Garnet is actually the group name for a family of gemstones that come in every color except blue. They're beautiful, durable and most garnets are very affordable jewelry choices.
The name "garnet" comes from the Roman work granatus meaning "seed", as the gems were thought to resemble pomegranate seeds. The most common garnets are the red to red-brown varieties that people know best. Red garnets can show almost as much fire as rubies.
Garnets were often worn by soldiers to heal wounds and stop blood flow. They were also said to promote true love, warn of danger by changing color, and protect the wearer's home from fire and lightning. Garnets in yellow, brown and orange were believed to stimulate energy and promote compatibility in lovers.
If you prefer spring or summer greens, Tsavorite Garnet from Africa comes in clear light greens to rich dark greens and is more affordable than fine Emeralds. Yellow-green to mid-green Demantoid Garnet is found mostly in antique jewelry. Green gemstones are said to bring prosperity, calm the nerves and protect the wearer from emotional stress.
The pink to reddish purple colors are in Rhodolite Garnet, the largest transparent species. The lighter, sparkling bright pinks can resemble pink sapphires. They are believed to attract romance and cure broken hearts.