Derived from the Latin word (14th century) for pomegranate ì as garnets were thought to resemble the seeds of this fruit ì this is a brittle and more or less transparent silicate mineral. The term garnet covers a wide variety of chemically different stones of varying colours. The best-known garnets are the dark red varieties which have been used for thousands of years and were particularly fashionable during the Victorian era. Garnets have been valued as sacred stones by the Native American Indians, the Aztecs, the African tribal elders and the Mayans. Statues of Isis, the Egyptian nature goddess, often included garnets in her ceremonial belt, probably representing her blood and power. The loving powers of garnet tend to reflect the attributes of devotion and it is strongly associated with the balancing of the sex drive and emotional disharmony, bringing love, compassion and enhanced imagination. Associated with love and passion, the garnet has been known as a stone of commitmentù ì to purpose, to others and to oneself. The stone has been used in the treatment of toxicity, mental depression, heart trouble, inflammation and an underactive thyroid. Garnet is the birthstone for January, symbolizing constancy, and the zodiac gem for Aquarius (21 January to 18 February).