Garnet: Meaning, Properties and History

The fiery red garnet is most commonly known as the birthstone for those born in the month of January, but it is also the gemstone that is commonly given on a second wedding anniversary. The stone gets its name from the Latin word, granatum, which means pomegranate, because this shiny red jewel resembles the fruit's shiny red edible seeds. And although most people associate a garnet as being a deep red color, they actually come in a variety of colors including red, brown, purple, green and orange.

Rose cut garnet ring with 14kt gold bezel

Legends and folklore speak of garnets as one of the most ancient of talismans. These beautiful stones have quite a history that spans over 5,000 years. They were considered prized gemstones as far back as the Bronze Age (that’s about 2300 BC) and were also a popular gemstone used in the jewelry of Ancient Rome, and are commonly found in Egyptian burials.

Garnets were not only a sought-after ornamental jewel, but they were also desired for their symbolism, strong protective and manifestation energies, and love encouraging properties.

During the Renaissance times, garnets were considered a sign of wealth and fertility, and it was quite common to have garnets set in signet rings, which were used by many wealthy families as seals for personal documents. The ring would be pressed into hot wax to form a stamped seal.

Love birds necklace with garnet

Garnets were also commonly used as protection stones.  Parting friends or lovers would give each other a talisman that was set with a garnet because it was believed that it would ensure that each would remain safe while away from one another and assure that they would meet again in the future. It was believed that garnets possessed highly charged positive vibrations that would repel negative and harmful energies, protecting the wearer from harm.

Garnets are also considered a manifestation stone. It is said that garnets represent the primordial fire of the ultimate creation of the earth and all that exists, and therefore have the power to help realize one’s dreams and accomplish goals by encouraging positive thinking.

And last, but not least, and the one belief that has held through to this day, is that the garnet’s red color has made it a gemstone symbolizing love and commitment. Garnets are said to encourage true love and true friendship, as help attract more love into one’s life. This is also a main reason why garnets are now associated with Valentine’s Day.

Garnet is one of my personal all-time favorite gemstones because their is something very majestic about them.  And with its varying colors, history, and magical properties, how can you not fall under its spell.

You can shop all my garnet jewelry here.