Garnet, which we tend to think of as a dark red stone, actually occurs in a multitude of hues - every one, in fact, except for blue. The birthstone of January (and associated with the sign Capricorn), the vibrant stone may appear to change color when taken from daylight to incandescent light (but only slightly). The rarest color is a brilliant, bright green hue.
The name of the stone comes from the Latin word "granum," meaning "grain." While the stone is typically rounded, its shape (and popular color) also reminds one of the seeds of the pomegranate! It's a hard, sturdy rock, yet easy to work into jewelry - which civilizations have been doing since the ancient Egyptian, Roman, and Greek times, decorating their warriors in hopes that the stone would grant them victory and protection from harm. It was believed that a garnet would illuminate the night, making it a popular talisman for travelers.
The most famous garnet was auctioned off from the estate of Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis in 1996 - a striking cabochon flower brooth that flew off the auction block for a mere $145K. That same year, a university student in Australia unearthed what is believed to be the largest single garnet ever - weighing thousands of tons and measuring nearly a hundred feet across.
Need to give a gift? Giving a garnet gives back, as it's said the stone grants loyalty and affection in return. In fact, it's considered to be a stone of passionate devotion, stimulating the senses and increasing one's vitality, stamina, motivation, and productivity. It also attracts good luck in business ventures (making it a great gift for business partners - and especially your boss).