The January Birthstone: Garnet

The birthstone for January is Garnet. The birthstone for January is Garnet.
article side img

Garnet takes its name from the Latin 'granatus' meaning 'seed', thanks to its resemblance of those found inside a pomegranate.

The January Birthstone: Garnet

Take one look at the deep red seeds nestled inside a pomegranate fruit to understand where the gemstone garnet takes its name. Derived from the Latin word 'granatus' - meaning 'grain' or 'seed' - the name was given to garnet because of its close resemblance to the pomegranate seeds. 

First mined in Sri Lanka over 2500 years ago, garnets are now found in many countries across the world including Africa, Australia, India, Russia, South America and the United States and although most commonly red in colour, garnets can also be found in a variety of hues including lime green, rosy pink and bright yellow.

Because the chemical composition of garnet varies, the atomic bonds in some species are stronger than in others. As a result, this mineral group shows a range of hardness on the MOHs Scale of about 6.5 to 7.5. The harder species like almandine are often used for abrasive purposes.

There are 6 main types of garnet, each of which come from a different part of the globe, with their own unique properties, but the main difference between them come from variations in colour, density and refraction capacities, due to unique combinations of elements with each particular gem, such as iron, calcium and manganese.

  • Almandine: A deep rich red colour with undertones of purple or orange, with the most valuable almandine garnets being a wine colour, and are found all over the world from Brazil to Kentucky.
  • Demantoid: One of the most rare and valuable varieties of garnet, with medium green tones, that are found in Italy, Korean, Russia and Zaire.
  • Pyrope: The most classical type of garnets when people think of the birthstone for January. The pyrope garnets found in the United States have the most feel, saturated red tones.
  • Rhodolite: This African variety is also highly popular - with pink or lavender tones - the rhodolite type of garnet is especially popular for use in children's jewellery.
  • Spessartite: With a medium orange to reddish orange hue, spessartite garnets are primarily found in Bavaria and Germany and are especially popular in these regions. 
  • Uvarovite: Found in Russia, this bright green type of garnet often occurs in small crystals. 

Throughout time, there have been many ancient traditions and legends about garnet. In medieval times, the stones were thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams and relieve diseases of the liver; According to legend, Noah used a finely cut, glowing garnet to illuminate the ark during those wet days and nights; Hebrew writers include the garnet as one of the twelve gems in Aaron's breastplate and Christian tradition considered the blood-red garnet as a symbol of Christ's sacrifice.

If you own a garnet, they can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush, but you must always make sure you rinse the gem after washing it. Ultrasonic treatments may also be used for garnet, except the demantoid variety and you should not steam clean the stone. Care should be taken to protect your gem from sharp blows, harsh temperatures and chemicals. 

To discover our full range of garnet jewellery, visit us in store at our Cornfield Road or The Beacon, Eastbourne stores.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

PRODUCTS RELATING TO THIS ARTICLE

VIEW ALL Jewellery Products
Swarovski Dancing Swan Rhodium Plated & Crystal Necklace 5533397
new-overlay

Swarovski

Swarovski Dancing Swan Rhodium Plated & Crystal Necklace 5533397

Regular price £119.00
Discover More
Swarovski Infinity Rose Gold Plated & Crystal Y Necklace 5521346
new-overlay

Swarovski

Swarovski Infinity Rose Gold Plated & Crystal Y Necklace 5521346

Regular price £99.00
Discover More
Swarovski Lifelong Heart Mixed Metal Plating & Crystal Necklace 5517952
new-overlay

Swarovski

Swarovski Lifelong Heart Mixed Metal Plating & Crystal Necklace 5517952

Regular price £119.00
Discover More

What to read next

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ

BACK TO NEWS HOME
Olivia Burton 34mm Rainbow OB16RB22

Find colour in the everyday with Olivia Burton's newest collection.

Things are about to get colourful! From ombre glitter dials to crystal-studded baguette rings, these little pieces from Olivia Burton's latest collection are the perfect pick-me-up.
Read more
Festive Opening Hours

Festive Opening Hours

In the run up to Christmas and New Year's, we've amended our opening hours so you have time to find th...
Read more
TUDOR BlackBay P01

TUDOR GPHG 2019 CHALLENGE PRIZE

TUDOR’s Black Bay P01 wins the “Challenge” Prize at the 2019 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève, making...
Read more
The New Conquest Classic is Bold, yet Refined

The New Conquest Classic is Bold, yet Refined

The Conquest Classic by Longines skillfully combines modernity with the refinement that defines the br...
Read more

size guide

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Sed consequat ullamcorper erat id vestibulum. Curabitur malesuada ornare lectus et feugiat. Aenean eget nisi pharetra, iaculis mi vitae, convallis ipsum. Aenean tortor ligula, bibendum at mauris sit amet, vulputate pretium ante. Quisque finibus lacinia risus, eget sagittis eros sodales a. Nunc sed purus id orci congue elementum. Praesent elementum, velit a euismod sollicitudin, felis ante dictum mi, sed gravida metus neque id justo. Maecenas in dui facilisis, condimentum quam tincidunt, tempus diam. Donec lectus quam, lobortis sed malesuada sed, placerat sit amet eros. Nunc dictum massa quis est euismod, egestas eleifend odio aliquet. Phasellus at eleifend magna. Integer sed rhoncus augue. Fusce porta pretium augue sit amet gravida. Integer suscipit leo ut velit vulputate, sed hendrerit odio volutpat.