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TAKE HEART, IT'S A NEW YEAR!

by Henry Elfering |

Garnet continues as a popular gemstone today. It serves as a birthstone for the month of January. Most people will think of a red gemstone when they hear the name "garnet" because they are not aware that garnet occurs in a variety of colors. However, gem-quality garnets occur in every color - with red being the most common and blue garnets being especially rare.

That's excellent news if you're in the market for this January birthstone. Those of you who have followed me over the years know I am big on transformation. This month’s birthstone fits with my thinking. While in the ground, heat and pressure of metamorphism breaks the chemical bonds and cause minerals to recrystallize into structures that stabilize under the temperature pressure and environment. Garnets start as tiny grains and slowly over time as the metamorphism progresses, they begin to include the surrounding rock materials. How cool is that? Even rocks have the power to change.

Garnet has been used as a gemstone for over 5000 years. It has been found in the jewelry of many Egyptian burials and was the most popular gemstone of Ancient Rome. Not to be outdone by cultures past, I chose the traditional red Garnet associated with this gemstone. I suspended a carved garnet heart from the mouth of a small dragon stickpin I created. Even Dragons can change and have a heart, after all it is a new year!

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