by John Brana December 28, 2009
There are actually two January birthstones; Garnet and Rose Quartz. However, most people only recognize Garnet on a wide scale. The word Garnet is derived from Latin which means grain or seed; "granatus", and it was therefore called thanks to the striking deep red of the gem being so incredibly close to that found in the seeds of pomegranates. However, with a Mohs scale hardness of 6. 5 to 7. 5; biting down a Garnet can not be quite the same sensation as you get from the fruit's seed!
But, many are stunned that Garnet can additionally be found in colors other than red; and some exquisite gems are available in greens, oranges, pinks and violets. These changes in color are caused by the mineral content contained in the gem; these are rarer still than the already obscure red Garnet.
There are a myriad of legends, myths and folklore that surround the Garnet; crossing scores of cultures and eras. In Biblical myth for instance, it is suggested that Noah hung a Garnet on his Ark, so as he may illuminate his journey during the storms.
Probably due to this, and alternate stories in lore, the gift of a Garnet is usually given to hurry home safely a loved one, who is undertaking a journey. Because of its deep red color, it's also highly symbolic of love and desire; and is usually given to January born loved ones by their partner.
Records show that it's been mined for at least 2500 years, though not invariably for its delicate nature; often being employed as a tool such due to its hardness. Whilst traces of this mining were found in Sri Lanka, the Garnet is found in several places across the world including; Africa, India and the United States of America.
The other of the January Birth Stones is the beautiful Rose Quartz that, because the name suggests, ranges from a fragile pale pink, to sorts which deepen up to the hue of a red rose. The colors of the gem are caused by trace amounts of titanium and iron, and in some specimens manganese.
Usually, the value of Rose Quartz is thought by many to make inadequate gems, and certainly can be cloudy. However there are exceptional items found and they're typically carved into wonderful hearts; making for a fantastic gift for loved ones.
Despite not being widely fashionable, it is reputed to be one of the most powerful semi precious stones in the world. It is said to hold many healing powers, with the power to help bring calm, and balance emotions at times of stress, anxiety and even guilt. Whilst Rose Quartz is found across the planet, from Asia to Europe and on to Northern America; it's principally mined in Brazil these days. Brazil has also long been the producer of the finest examples, and, in the proper setting, will create a wonderful various when looking for January birthstones.
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