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While garnet is often viewed as a ruby substitute, it has its own unique qualities that can be appreciated on their own. It comes in a variety of colors, including many shades of red, from very pale to brick to a red-black. It comes in larger sizes, usually has good clarity 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.