Garnet is both the modern and traditional birthstone for January and while mostly associates with the color red, garnets can be almost any color including rare rainbow garnets! That's because garnet is a family of minerals and not just one including pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, andradite, and uvarovite.
The name garnet is derived from the Latin word for "seed" as the red garnets were strikingly similar to pomegranate seeds.
Garnets are tied to a great amount of folklore from diverse cultures and periods of time. One common theme is that garnet has always been a stone of protection.
In ancient Rome a garnet would be used by warriors going into battle for protection and safe passage.
Garnets are in the bible as Noah was said to have used one on the ark as a source of light.
Garnets have even been used as bullets in Asian battles as they were believed to cause more harm.
Tombs of ancient pharaohs include garnet necklaces and charms as they were thought were have magical powers and bring good fortune.
Both the Romans and Greeks wore garnet signet rings and used them to wax-seal important documents.
Garnets popularity continued through the Victorian era until recently when colored gemstones popularity is back and garnets are beautiful and diverse making them great for all different types of jewelry.