Garnet, the January birthstone, is in my opinion, underappreciated. Garnet derived its name from the Latin word granatus, meaning like a grain, which refers to the mode of occurrence where crystals resemble grains or seeds embedded in the matrix. The name is also thought to be derived from the pomegranate fruit because some garnet crystals bear a resemblance to pomegranate seeds. Believe it or not, garnet displays the greatest variety of color of any mineral, occurring in every color except blue. Garnets can sometimes exhibit optical phenomena such as asterism (a star shaped pattern of reflections), chatoyancy (a “cat’s eye” seen in reflected light), or a color change when viewed under different types of lighting.