Garnet is the official birthstone for January as adopted by the American National Association of Jewelers in 1912 and is also the Zodiac stone for the star sign Aquarius. Garnet is also recognized as the gem given on the 2nd and 6th wedding anniversary.
Garnets range from a 7.0 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness and are found in many places around the world including: USA, Africa, Australia, Brazil, Myanmar (Burma), Scotland, Switzerland and Tanzania . Garnet occurs in almost every colour except blue and most varieties are named for their color. Rhodolite is a purplish red, hessonite is the name for an orange, cinnamon, or pinkish variety. Tsavorite is the name given to dark green grossular garnet. Uvarovite and demantoid are also green varieties. Pyrope garnets are purplish red, orangy red, crimson, or dark red. Spessartite garnets range from yellow and orange through red to reddish brown to dark black/brown. Coluor change garnets exhibit a “alexandrite-like” effect when viewed in natural light or artificial lighting.
Garnets are formed when high temperatures and/or pressure is a factor and geologists often use garnets as a gauge of the amount of temperature and pressure that was present during their formation.
Garnet is believed to have the properties of healing, strength, and protection and it is often worn to relieve inflammations of the skin. It is also said to regulate the heart and blood flow and aid in curing depression. In earlier times, garnets were exchanged as gifts between friends to demonstrate their affection for each other and to ensure that they meet again.