Garnets, the January birthstone, are so named for their similarity to pomegranate seeds, and garnet is derived from the Latin word for grain.
Garnets are one of the older gemstones, and Ancient Egyptians were known to wear them. It never went out of fashion, with the Ancient Greeks and Romans also revering the stone, and signet rings containing garnets were used to seal documents.
Red garnets are the most common in colour, with blue garnets considered the rarest, not found until the 1990s. Almandine, Pyrope and Spessartine are just some of the species of garnet, and the United States has mined many of these species, though garnet can be found globally, including in Madagascar, Tanzania and Turkey.