The birthstone for January is a garnet, one of my favorite colored gemstones. As we begin a new year, I thought it might be fun to share a blog post each month to spotlight some of my designs available with the month’s birthstone(s). Click each photo to link to more information about the design on my website. As a longtime lover of the large spectrum of colored gemstones, I have always encouraged my customers to not feel limited by the gem assigned to their month of birth but to enjoy any special connection to their birthstone, while embracing all gem colors that make their heart sing. I have often included color symbolism in my stories that accompany my symbol designs with gemstones. The garnet for me symbolizes the blood of Christ when used in a cross. I found it interesting to read that Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed. The pomegranate is a very symbolic image used throughout history.
A little online research leads to some history and lore about birthstones. The American Gem Society states “The origin of birthstones is believed to date back to the breastplate of Aaron which contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel. The current list dates back to 1912 with only one addition since then – the tanzanite was added to December.” They include a color photo list arranged by month where you may click on the month you were born to learn the history of your birthstone. Many Museums of Natural Science & History include information too. The Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture has some interesting science and legend behind birthstones stating “how powerful it is to have our month of birth represented by a beautiful natural gemstone. We can own and display our special stone and feel embraced by its beauty”.
The American Gem Society states, “Garnet, the birthstone for January, signifies eternal friendship and trust and is the perfect gift for a friend. Garnet, derived from the word granatum, means seed, and is called so because of the gemstone’s resemblance to a pomegranate seed. References to the gemstone dates back to 3100 B.C., when the Egyptians used garnets as inlays jewelry. Garnet is the name of a group of minerals that comes in a rainbow of colors, from the deep red of the pyrope garnet to the vibrant green of tsavorites. Today, the most important sources for garnet are Africa, Sri Lanka, and India.” Personally, I am quite fond of tsavorite garnets that rival the color of emeralds. The Burke Museum website shows a garnet in it’s naturally occurring state, and suggests “The next time you eat a pomegranate, you will notice the seeds’ resemblance to garnet.”
All designs shown are available for immediate delivery on date of this post (January 18, 2012). Ordering/purchasing information may be found on the contact page of my website and prices for each piece shown are posted on each design’s page (click each image).