While garnet is often viewed as a ruby substitute, it has its own unique qualities that can be appreciated. Garnet comes in a variety of colors, including many shades of red (from very pale to brick to a red-black), but it is never blue. It usually has good clarity, comes in larger sizes and has a respectable hardness that allows it to wear well.
Like many red stones, garnet was once believed to stop bleeding. It was a symbol of loyalty and energy, promoted sincerity, and was said to have illuminative powers, both physically and spiritually. Garnet was also said to alleviate anger, promote tranquility and offer protection in health and travel.
Garnet is the birthstone of January.
||Red and most other colors except blue
||Silicates of aluminum, iron and magnesium; the level of iron or magnesium determines the color. Mohs' hardness rating of 7.