For those born in the month of January, the gemstone is garnet. Hindu religion will also recognize the serpent stone for this month, but for modern, Western society, the garnet is most familiar. Most people recognize this precious stone as a deep, almost blood red crystal. However, garnets can be found in brown, black, orange, pink, green, and yellow. With some more rare ones found with no color, though blues tend to be the most rare. Because they are more well-known for their red hue, the origin of the word, garnet, or, ´gernet´, is derived from Old English, meaning dark red. It has been adored for over five-thousand years. In Europe (where is was easily found), during the Victorian Ear, it was traditionally cut in the shape of a rose and linked with other delicately faceted gems.
Each month of the year brings in a new cycle. Each cycle represents a new season, has a renewed energy, and a new meaning. Throughout history, specific gemstones have been designated to symbolize our birth-month according to the Gregorian or Western Calendar. In the first century, a Jewish historian by the name of Josephus, stated there was a connection with the twelve stones on the breastplate of Aaron, and the twelve months of the year. In the earlier civilizations of Babylon and India, gemstones have been known to attribute magical properties in connection to their significance of the Zodiac calendar. It is believed that the gemstones for each month aligns with the season, our spiritual and mental energy, religion, magical powers, and even the power to aid in ailing health or allow us to maintain our health.
The Latin word “granatus”, meaning grain or seed, might make one think about the seeds of the pomegranate fruit. According to Greek mythology, Hades, god of the underworld, gifted Persephone a pomegranate before she returned to the earth to visit her mother, Demeter. As she had been a kidnapped goddess forced to be his queen, the gift of this fruit ensured that she would return to him safely after four months time.
In the Antique Roman period, garnets were also used to symbolize areas in which they had taken control. These stones were inlaid in cells of gold using the ´cloisonne´method, utilizing enamel to strengthen the inlay. The artifacts of what the Romans left behind have been found in Anglo-Saxon England to the Black Sea.
Some other interesting facts about the garnet: The darker, more opaque stones of the garnet family are used in ´garnet paper´as an abrasive, the favorite among cabinetmakers. When mixed with water and high pressure, they can also be used to cut steel. It is the state gemstone of Idaho and Arizona, but can be found in India, Russia, Africa, the rivers of Australia, and South America.
Garnets, the January birthstone, have been used to encourage a heightened sense of sensuality and sexuality, with Metaphysical properties strengthening regenerative powers of the body, commitment, and giving insight to healing thoughts.
More symbolically, as a gift it represents constancy, and it utilized to balance one´s yin and yang energy. If you are one that experiences restless sleep due to bad dreams, you might use a garnet under your pillow to ward off these bad dreams and the evil spirits that might the cause of them. It is also meant to cure any inflammatory disorders of the body, stops hemorrhaging, and brings a silence to anger and emotional discord. With these powerful, life-balancing abilities, it is no surprise that people born in the month of January are described as, ambitious, and natural-born leaders. People with these characteristics might be individuals who travel and explore. The gift of a garnet will be a protective gem of these journeyers, a gift of love and a desire that they have safe travels and return soon.
The January birthstone garnet have unique light transmission qualities, and some garnets seem to change color in various light conditions. With daylight conditions some garnets have many different colors, but in incandescent light they generally appear reddish or pink/purple in color. Garnets that are more opaque (less color) are often the ones used for industrial purposes instead of those that are used as gemstones most commonly those that appear in shades of green, red, orange, and yellow.
January Birth Flower:
The Snowdrop is the January birth flower representing love, fascination, and purity. Meanwhile, the carnation is the birth flower of January and symbolizes: love, pride, distinction, and beauty for those that follow British traditions.
January Birth Tree:
The Cypress tree is said to symbolize understanding the role of sacrifice and has been associated with the Hades, God of the underworld.
Famous People Born in January:
Oprah Winfrey – January 29, 1954
Tom Selleck – January 29, 1945
Eli Manning – January 3, 1981
Drew Brees – January 15, 1979
Benjamin Franklin – January 17, 1706
To learn more about your birthstone garnet check out Wikipedia.