The birthstone for January, the term ‘garnet’ actually describes a group of more than ten different gemstones of similar chemical composition. Most people only recognize the deep red color of the Garnet, but Garnet actually comes in a rainbow of colors that encompasses every hue except for blue. Some of the pre-Garnet names for these fabulous stones are Spessartite, Tsavorite, Almandite, and Rhodolite. The Garnet stone is comprised of several different minerals, and this is what causes the difference in color between two stones of the same Garnet group. In history, Garnet been used as a talisman and protective stone because it was believed to light up the dark night and protect its wearer from evil and disaster. Garnet is also a hard stone, and good for every-day wear in jewelry.
The word “pyrope” comes from the Greek word “puropus”, made up of “pur” (fire) and “ops” (eye) meaning “fiery-eyed”. This refers to the impressive brilliance of pyrope garnet, which is a result of its high refractive index.