Garnet has been in use since the Bronze Age! Garnet actually comes in many colours, but the red is the most popular, although green has gained some favour recently. The word garnet comes from the Middle English "gernet" - meaning "dark red" and from the Latin "granatus" - meaning grain, seed - which is thought to be a reference to the small seeds in a pomegranate - whose colour garnet can resemble.
Garnet is the January birthstone.
Metaphysically - Garnet is known at the warrior's stone - for strength and courage.