Humans have had a long held fascination with gemstones. The pantheistic notion that 'rocks' can have magical properties is something many of us can relate to from our childhoods.... How many of you carried a 'lucky stone' in your pocket as a kid? For many of us, its as if we were born knowing that stones can have magical qualities, as if this knowlege is part of the collective consciousness!
Were we born understanding the talismanic properties of stones, or did others around us simply impart the message?
I had the not-so-original idea that I might blog monthly around gemstones and gemstone lore, ( regardless of the fact that I dont use them much in my work, which is a whole OTHER blog post!) Upon researching garnets to present some fun facts around this subject, I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information! For those of you who might not know, I thought it would be fun to share some of what I discovered.
What we mostly refer to as our "birthstone" is actually a list of 'modern' birthstones created in 1912 by an organization that is now calls itself the Jewelers of America. What I found in my internet 'travels' was a myriad of other birthstone designations, and lists ranging from ayurvedic birthstones, zodiac birthstones, talismanic birthstones and more. Your designated birth or "natal" stone will be different, depending on which list speaks to you, and the properties you are interested in enhancing in your life.
Earliest records of natal stone 'designations' are found in Exodus 28, 15-30, where we find the possible foundation for the idea of a natal stone. Here, there are instructions to create "the breastplate of Aaron" which calls for 12 stones to represent the 12 tribes of Israel, to be set in the plate in 4 rows of 3". The stones the directions call for relate to the zodiac signs of the time.
Stones are a fascination, and there are so many facts, legend, myths and believed healing properties that surround them, I could write endlessly!
For your reading pleasure, I bring you the Modern Birthstone for January GARNET
Garnets represent the sign of Aquarius, and are sometimes called the "stone of health", as they are believed to "enhance the internal fire" and therefore stimulate the root chakra, which is represented by the color red. They help to remove negativity, so this stone is also believed to cure depression. In some histories garnet was known as the stone of affection and was traditonally given as a gift to a friend, to enhance relationships and assure you will meet again! Garnets actually come in every color of the rainbow, except blue! Rhodolite garnets have a purplish cast, pyrope garnets are their more orangey cousins, spessartite can be as light as yellow, and tsavorite garnets are green! There has even been a recent discovery of a color changing garnet, not unlike the highly prized stone alexandrite, that apparently looks different under fluorescent light.
The earrings pictured are the last of their kind, as my work is done in limited edtions, and I am retiring this flower mold. This particular pair was a custom shorter version of shoulder dusters I did for a customer who changed her mind. They feature lovely rhodolite garnet briolettes, one of my favorite stones and cuts. If anyone out there covets them, they can be found in my shop!