Less credulous moderns do not find in the January birthstone such magical virtues, yet wear it fully as much as did the ancients, because of its brilliancy, warmth and charm. Likewise it gave and preserved health, just as it drove away vain thoughts, and reconciled differences between friends. This range of colors is due to differences of chemical composition. Fortunate indeed, this man who possessed the garnet, a friend and a protector.
Garnets, to the chemist, are silicates; that is, their base is silicon and oxygen, one combination of which, silicon dioxide, is common sand. Fortunate, too, the husband who won a maid born in January and who Exothermic Welding powder was rich enough to bestow a garnet on herfor, in the wisdom of the sages and the songs of the poets, no woman could wear this gem and fail in constancy: “No gem save garnet should be worn By her who in this month is born; It will insure her constancy, True friendship and fidelity. This handsome red stone with its resplendent “fire” insured victory. More than that, it gave him grace and power, strengthened the heart and increased riches and honors.
Varying fully as much as the color is the appearance of the stones. If worn about the neck, it warded off plague and lightning. The finer red ones are transparent, and have a great deal of that elusive quality called “fire”, which gives the name to the pyrope variety. Just as in the past, stones of that lovely and individual shade of red known as “garnet” are most popular, although, as probably few know, there are among the garnets a multitude of varying shades of red, yellow, green, brown and black, and, in Tellemark, Norway, even white garnets have been found. There are six main groups, within all of which, however, the relative proportions of the minerals may vary: grossularite, with calcium and aluminium; pyrope, with magnesium and aluminium; almandite, an iron-aluminium garnet; spessartite, or a magnesium-aluminium combination; andradite, consisting of calcium and iron, and uvarovite, a garnet composed of calcium and chromium. Carbuncles, which are usually clear, transparent red pyropes and almandites, were so called because the red color within the stone seemed to be as animated as a glowing coal.In ancient times, he who was born in January and possessed its birthstone, the garnet, need never, if he believed the ancient lore, be afraid. To this base are joined different combinations of minerals, and each combination has its own color. For example, if the minerals are magnesium and aluminium, the gem will usually be red; if calcium and chromium, it will usually be greena