The underrated birthstone for January actually occurs in many colours other than the familiar brownish-red. In fact, garnet is available in every colour except blue and offers an excellent variety of choice and price range. It is one of the gems that until now has not needed enhancement to improve its already beautiful colours.
The beautiful and vibrant rhodolite garnet comes from sources such as Sri Lanka is a violet-red. The rare Tsavorite garnet from Tsavo National Park in Tanzania is an intense green. The bright gold or burnished yellow/brown of the Hessonite garnet can be found right here in Canada. It is consequently quite possible to find the beautiful red colour of a ruby, or even green hue of an emerald, all in a lovely garnet.
Garnet was once believed to give its wearer guidance in the night, allowing one to see where others could not. In one era, weapons were actually carved from the gem with the belief that it would draw blood more effectively. Throughout history, however, garnet has been known as the gem of faith, constancy and truth. This gem is remarkably durable, does not require any special care in wear and cleaning and makes an excellent gemstone for men’s jewellery.
* image courtesy the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA)