History and Symbolism Behind the January Birthstone – Garnet

If you are fortunate to have been born in January or have a loved one born in the month, Garnet, the magnificent January birthstone should arouse your enthusiasm. Closely resembling a deep red pomegranate seed, the stone is fascinating with its luscious, crystal-like appearance. Color ‘red’ has always been connoted with unbridled passion, love, luxury, and opulence. One look at the birthstone, and the belief gets reaffirmed. For couples approaching two years of marital bliss, there is another reason to exhibit a keen persuasion for the gemstone. The lavish garnet stone is reckoned to mark the second wedding anniversary. We cannot ponder enough to think of a more timeless gift than a stunning garnet-embedded jewelry piece for the occasion.

How Garnet Was Celebrated Even in The Ancient Times

The gorgeous ‘Garnet’ stone is not a marvel discovery of recent times. It’s acknowledgment and usage as a gemstone and abrasive traces back to the Bronze Age, around 5,000 years ago. The name ‘Garnet’ originates from the medieval Latin granatus, meaning ‘seeds’, owing to its captivating resemblance with the pomegranate seeds. A handful of red garnets laid out in the sun, and one could easily mistake them as some lush seeds of the fruit. 

Such is the spellbinding beauty of these red gemstones that even thousands of years ago, the pharaohs in ancient Egypt felt ensnared with their charm. They would adorn necklaces studded with garnets. Years later, archeologists discovered precious garnet jewelry in the tombs of these pharaohs, dating back to 3100 B.C. Considering them a prized possession to ensure security in the afterlife, they would even bury red garnets with their corpses, disguised as mummies. The ancient Romans and Greeks would wear signet rings with carved garnets to stamp the wax that would secure essential documents. Even medieval Europe witnessed the clergy and nobility hold the fancy gemstone in high esteem and often wore garnet embellished jewelry with pride galore. The Victorians, too, known for their aesthetic brilliance, were enthralled with the stone. A prevalent jewelry stone of the time – tiny red garnets were clustered together to form a large jewelry piece, executed with intricate craftsmanship.

Symbolism Behind Garnet – The Gem of Exuberance and Passion

Garnet has often been observed as the gemstone that protects its wearer and shields them from harm and injury. This belief brought it much popularity amongst the warriors and royalty of ancient times. The practicing healers of those times would often deploy the miraculous stone to ward off ailments and even recuperate wounds in no time. In recent years, red garnets are particularly celebrated for bestowing boundless vitality, life, and happiness to the wearer. As the color denotes passionate indulgence, it is believed that wearing a garnet elevates the overall quality of one’s life, surcharging it with a newfound fervor. According to the Hindu astrology, the red birthstone is also capable of wearing off negative emotions of depression and loneliness, ubiquitous in the current times.

January Birthstone in An Array of Colors

Never heard of a woman who is not tempted by the color red, especially when it is a splendid precious stone in saturated red hues, oozing bounds of glamour and luxuriance. The birthstone garnet is popularly associated with red, but there is more to it. The other magnificent variations include color hues of purple, green, yellow, orange, and pink, which are equally vibrant and rich.

Garnets in their composition are essentially silicate minerals, formed mainly when large sedimentary rocks undergo metamorphosis. Under severe heat and pressure conditions, the minerals in these rocks recrystallize to a more solid and stable form that can sustain through extreme external conditions. This is how the gorgeous garnet crystals are formed, that are eventually mined, and crafted into the refined jewelry designs that we so fondly lay our sights on. Depending on the environment in which they come into existence, garnets contain varying amounts of calcium, magnesium, iron, aluminum, manganese, and chromium. These minerals being instrumental in defining the color, hardness, and transparency of these beautiful gemstones.

Basis the presence of the crystallizing minerals, garnets are further classified into – Pyropes, Almandine, Spessartine, Andradite, Grossular, and Uvarovite.

Pyropes are the quintessentially rich red garnets with a saturated red color resembling the pomegranate seeds. They are free from exclusions and are generally a moderately expensive variety of the garnet family.  It is the crystallization of the minerals magnesium and aluminum that leads to the formation of Pyropes. 

Almandine, also known as Almandite, are tilted to the deep-reddish color, often with a brownish-purple hue or a stark purplish tone. Their composition mainly consists of iron and aluminum with most almandine stones being rather opaque than transparent.

Spessartine is one of the rare garnets species created from manganese and aluminum. Discovered in 1960’s, they range from a sunny yellowish- orange to a bright orange hue to a more saturated orange with perceptible shades of ‘red’ in it, assuming an overall brownish-red tone. 

Andradite – Composed of calcium and iron, these garnet crystals have three further varieties Melanite, Demantoid, and Topazolite. The Melanite garnet is black, with translucent visibility, and known as ‘titanium andradite’. Demantoid is a lush green garnet that is extremely rare and quite sought after. Topazolite is also a precious garnet form that is a sunny yellow-green in color.  

Grossular – Again, these are an orangish-red garnet constituted of calcium and aluminum. Some species of grossular garnets are also found in faint shades of green, red, and yellow. Tsavorite is an extremely precious green variety of the grossular garnets that is sparsely available around the world. 

Uvarovite – This succulent green variety of garnet also closely resembles the other precious gemstone, emerald. Composed of chromium, these garnet crystals shine with a brilliant luster and make for one of the rarest members of the garnet family. 

Barring a few, most of the garnet stones have inclusions in them. But their presence rather augments the beauty of these stones rather than diminishing it. Together, they reflect the falling light in multiple directions, creating a beautiful kaleidoscopic display of colors. Gemologists work harder to cut and crease the garnets highlighting these inclusions and bringing them to the fore (like ‘horsetails’ in demantoid garnets’) so that the light can be better refracted in as many angles as possible, creating an appeasing visual.

Garnet Jewelry – A Beauty to Adorn and Cherish

Jewelry so lavish it becomes a possession of pride for the wearer. The Gabriel & Co. selection of garnet jewelry boasts of the finest options in rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets. If you have a friend or family born in January, there can be no other way to treat them special but gift this exquisite birthstone jewelry as a timeless treasure.

Gorgeous earrings featuring a protruding 0.33-carat center garnet stone with a luxe halo definition of shimmering pave diamonds of 0.036 carats. Set in 14k white gold, these stud earrings can be a classic and thoughtful gift for someone born in January or as a toast to the second wedding anniversary.

The round garnet stone takes center stage in this Victorian-style three-stone ring. Set in 14k yellow gold that is making quite a major comeback and becoming inarguably popular amongst all, the ring has a square diamond on each side of the ravishing red garnet stone, further accentuating its appearance.

This 18-inches 925 sterling silver necklace featuring a prominent oval garnet stone makes for an elegant and thoughtful gift to the January born. The glistening red January birthstone looks as enticing when paired with pristine silver as it does with the traditional yellow gold. Gifting this to your wife as the second wedding anniversary gift makes for an endearing gesture and a reflection of your finer tastes in life.

This 14k yellow, white gold beaded Bujukan cuff bracelet featuring scintillating, intense red garnets in a line is a modern yet classic take on jewelry. Marked with bright diamonds in between the garnets, this chic bracelet can be worn daily or even stacked with other bracelets to heighten the impact for a specially curated dressed-up look.

How to Care for And Clean the Precious Garnet Jewelry?

Faring decently, garnets are placed between 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. This makes them much more delicate and susceptible than other stones like diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, all of them scoring upwards of 8 on the same scale. While wearing garnet jewelry, one may like to be a little mindful of not rubbing or roughing the stone against any hard surfaces. Even while placing the jewelry items together, put the garnet jewelry in a separate stash from others, ideally wrapped in a soft cloth or tissue, least it bears any scratches. 

Ideally, all jewelry must be handed to a professional jewelry cleaner at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and maintenance. Such precious gems call for some exclusive love and pampering. Garnet jewelry is best cleaned with a soft, wet cloth or with warm, soapy water at home. Post cleaning, pat the gems completely dry before storing them in a damp place. It is best advised to avoid steam cleaning.

These gemstones are not just some precious jewelries but a miraculous creation of nature that takes thousands of years to form and then some meticulous handling by the skilled artisans making them into the gorgeous pieces that we adorn. Chemicals in our fragrances and hair sprays can also be detrimental to the composition of these fine gemstones. Least of all, they can dull their luster and alter their brilliant surface shine under natural light. It is always prudent to use our mists, body oils, fragrances, and sprays before wearing the jewelry.

Fun Facts and Trivia About the January Birthstone, Garnet

1. Apart from being the January birthstone, the deep red garnet stone has long been held as a symbol of love and romance. In the Victorian era, it was believed that the stone had the powers to bring back lost love for those forlorn in romantic relationships. 

2. Demantoid garnets that are the crystal green, bright variety of the Andradite garnet are extremely rare and expensive. They are known well for their ‘fiery’ temperaments, even being able to disperse light better than diamonds. No wonder they are valued and priced much higher than precious diamonds. 

3. Garnets are one of the most untreated and interfered with species of gemstones. The accumulations have vast garnets, and there is no need to craft them artificially or enhance their appearance. Garnets are their best pick for those with a propensity towards gemstones in their most natural form. 

4. Czechoslovakia was the largest producer of fiery-red garnet stones all through the 14th to 19th centuries. 

5. Some rare garnet stones possess the attribute to change their color when viewed under different lighting.

6. The most legendary piece of garnet jewelry ever fashioned in history is the antique pyrope hair comb of the Smithsonian in the Victorian era (1837-1901). The tiara-like fashioned exquisite piece features a brilliant rose-cut garnet in the crest area, surrounded by many smaller garnet gems all around. 

7. The red pyrope garnet was majorly popular during Victorian times, and most of it came from Bohemia.

8. The rather occasional and exquisite demantoid garnets came from the Ural Mountains in Russia in the 19th century. In 1998, a 4ct, oval-cut Russian demantoid was sold for $48,000, an exorbitantly high price for a gemstone at that time.   

9. In the modern-day, Africa is one of the major contributors of garnets in the world. Namibia in Africa produces some of the world’s most expensive green demantoid garnets. Kenya, Tanzania, and Madagascar supply the rare green tsavorites from the grossular garnets family. 

10. Apart from these geographies, the spectacular January birthstone is also found in Asian countries like India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Myanmar, Iran, and China. Other important deposits are in Australia and the United States of America.

If the bewitching, red appearance of this January birthstone alone wasn’t a good enough reason to eye it, the long time-honored symbolism and historical significance only make for another fair point. Planning to buy a beautiful pair of garnet earrings or maybe a garnet studded bracelet? Explore our fine selection of rings, earrings, bracelets, and necklaces featuring the January birthstone Garnet in some astounding, flattering designs. For lovers of birthstone jewelry, there are equally great styles for other birthstones as well. 

To glance through and explore our latest offerings in stylish jewelry, visit and follow us on our social media pages – InstagramFacebookTwitter, and Pinterest. To know us better and shop the exquisite selection of Gabriel & Co. jewelry, visit us at https://www.gabrielny.com/.

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