Garnets are beautiful things, not just because you find them almost anywhere you shop for jewelry in South Florida, but because for those of us who like red gemstones, they’re a much more affordable alternative to rubies. But while the January birthstone is most frequently found in deep, dark red—and you’ll see plenty of examples when you shop for jewelry in Fort Lauderdale—did know that garnets also come in earth shades including green, yellow, and orange?
In addition to other colors, garnets—whose name comes from Latin for “granum,” or grain—also go by other names, including Arizona ruby, Arizona spinel, Montana ruby, or New Mexico ruby. That just goes to show you how much they resemble their more precious ruby cousins. Like rubies, garnets are relatively hard stones, which means they wear well over time; this is why they appear to the favorite stones in the antique and estate pieces you find in South Florida pawn and jewelry shops—they’ve been able to survive years of being tossed around jewelry boxes and thrown into the backs of closets and drawers!
Garnets are also highly refractive and early explorers and travelers thought the light they gave off had protective qualities, and sought them out as good luck charms. It’s even said that Noah used a garnet to help him steer the ark!