January’s birthstone, the Garnet ~ the stone of devotion and passion.
It is thought to keep the wearer safe during travel. Give Strength, perseverity, prosperity and health. It’s healing powers are said to be in aiding the blood, heart, and lungs and is known to promote romantic love, passion, sensuality, and intimacy.
As a semi-precious gemstone a garnet’s hardness level measures between 6.0 and 7.5 on Moh’s hardness scale. Although relatively inexpensive, high-quality garnets are very brilliant, and can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear.
Garnet is derived from the Latin word “granum” meaning “grain”. This refers to the typically rounded shape of Garnet and also reminiscent of the seeds of the pomegranate. Garnets have been widely known for thousands of years. Even Noah, it is reported, used a lantern from garnet in order to safely steer his Ark through the darkness of the night. Although the colour red occurs most frequently, there are also garnets showing different shades of green, pale to bright yellow, blue, blue-green, fiery orange and fine earth- and umbra-shades.
The alternate birthstone for January is the Rose Quartz ~ The stone of warmth and love. It is thought to give Emotional Balance and forgiveness.
As an ornamental to semi-precious gemstone, the rose quartz measures a hardness level of 7. The vast majority of rose quartzes are translucent.
The Gregorian calendar has poems matching each month with its birthstone. These are traditionally the stones in English-speaking societies. It is not known whether these verses below originally are of the Gregorian calendar or not. In fact Tiffany & Co. published these poems “of unknown author” for the first time in a pamphlet in 1870. This is the one written for January.
By her who in this month is born
No gem save garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.