Break open a pomegranate: see the tiny glossy red seeds? Now you can see why garnet comes from the Latin word for seed, granatum. To the ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians, garnet was a tiny glossy red gem, bursting with fire. Beautiful garnet jewelry found in archeological digs is more than 5,000 years old.
Garnet is the birthstone for January, the zodiac gem for Aquarius, and the gem for the second anniversary. Garnets symbolize loyalty and kindness. In a Grimm Fairy Tale, an old lady who rescues an injured bird is rewarded with a magical garnet that lights up the night. A garnet also lit the way for Noah's Ark. In legend, garnets protect travelers when they are far from home.
Gemvara carries two varieties of garnets: affordable red garnets from Mozambique, which have an earthy red ocher color, and rhodolite garnets, which have a juicy raspberry color. This beautiful purplish-red garnet was discovered in 1882 in the hills of North Carolina. Tiffany gemologist and author George Kunz named it after the rhododendron that grows in the mountains of that state.
Rhodolite is mined all over the world and is the most popular purplish-red gem. Jewelry designers love its versatility. Gemvara's rich raspberry rhodolite from Africa blends well with blues and purples and contrasts well with greens, yellows and oranges. You'll find it harmonizes with almost every shade in your wardrobe and is univeraly flattering against the skin.
Garnets are durable and suitable for everyday wear but protect them from sharp blows. Clean with mild dish soap: use a soft brush behind the stone where dust can collect.