January Birthstone

Garnet is a birthstone January people should consider seriously. From ancient times, garnet is taken as a symbol of prosperity and fortune. But its magic works with those who have born in the second winter month only.
Why should I know my birthstone?
In this series of posts, we introduce you to the world of precious gemstones. According to its laws, everybody can find a personal talisman. These 12 jewels are titled ‘birthstones’ because each of them is commonly associated with a particular month.
So, you’d better learn how to choose this gemstone correctly to gift yourself or your beloved one the superpower jewelry!
How to differ a garnet from a ruby
The garnet birthstone is easily mistaken with a ruby. Though the latter is more valuable on the jewelry market, ruby doesn’t have the birthstone power like a garnet does.
To distinguish these two gemstones correctly, choose one of these two ways:
  • Put a gemstone under the light. If you see yellow and green reflection on the jewel, it’s a garnet. If it’s blue and red, that’s a ruby.
  • Check the refraction on a gemstone. If it’s single, that’s a garnet. It it’s double, you’re holding a ruby.
Use these tricks to select your garnet and mix its red magnificence with personalized meaning in your valuable gifts!
The history of birthstone January
From Latin, “garnet” means “granatus,” or pomegranate. That’s likely because garnet pieces are associated with the seeds of this fruit. Alternatively, the Middle Englishmen gave “garnet” the significance of “dark red.” In this variant, this title indicates the presence of an intense red color in the structure of garnet.
Being a strong hue by itself, the red tone turns the garnet birthstone into the symbol of enormous power and wealth. So, lucky you if you have found your birthstone January and are wearing your garnet on a daily basis!
Being a special gemstone for January people, garnet birthstone had many jewelry applications:
Medieval people added garnet to wax while making stamps to seal letters.
Ancestors also called garnet the gemstone of faith, meaning that it intensifies the impact of good and evil actions on the destiny of its owner.
Some believers wore garnet birthstone as a talisman from bad dreams and circumstances. People said that this gemstone is capable of lighting up the night and expelling the nightmares from it.
Warriors relied on the healing power of garnet, placing it on their wounds and wearing it not to catch plague disease.
Indian astrologists said garnet can disburden the owner’s soul. Among the feelings this gemstone can fight against, there are depression and guilt.
Archeologists are frequently finding garnet jewelry pieces from Bronze Age in ruins
People in Ancient Egypt frequently featured this precious gemstone, referring to the garnet as the talisman of life.
The rise in garnet usage happened in the 3rd century in the Roman Empire and during the Victorian era in England.
The garnet with the greatest reputation is the Smithsonian’s pyrope hair comb. It is decorated by garnet found in Bohemian mines (Czech Republic).
Many royal families preferred garnet birthstone jewelry – especially in Russia, India, and Austro-Hungarian Empire.
Till now, Africa is the largest supplier of the garnet birthstone on the global market. In other parts of the planet, the famous place to find birthstone January is Little Three mine in Southern California. Alternatively, you can find some garnets in Asia (Iran, Pakistan, India and Myanmar) and Latin America (Brazil especially). During Victorian times, garnets were supplied from Ural Mountains (Russia) in jewelry designed by Faberge. These green gemstones still have great reputation on the market.
The garnet birthstone group of gemstones
In essence, the title ‘garnet’ refers to a wide group of minerals. Among the 20 gemstones featured, the most precious gems for jewelry purposes are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, and andradite. They differ in color – from classic red in andradite till orange spessartine – but still have the structure of a garnet. However, don’t think it’s possible to learn their appearance once and forever. All these gemstones can change their tint under different light – like being bright green in a daylight and dark red at night!
Here’s the detailed overview of each mineral in the birthstone January group:

Pyrope

  • Is the most popular variety of garnet
  • The most interesting gemstone in pyrope garnet group is rhodolite – due its intense purple color

Almandine

  • Has red color, commonly associated with a garnet
  • The hardness of this garnet group is 7-7.5 Mohs – which means it’s durable for the jewelry piece, comparing to turquoise or opal

Spessartine

  • Color tones of this garnet group commonly include orange and yellow
  • The countries of origin of this birthstone January – Tanzania and Namibia

Grossular

  • This garnet category has the widest range in tones – including colorless, yellow, reddish orange and even dramatic green (that’s tsavorite garnet)
  • The garnet birthstone is mined mostly in Tanzania, Madagascar, and Kenya

Andradite

  • Demantoid is one of the most special gemstones in the garnet line, having an unusual bright green color (thanks to the chromium in its chemical compositon)
  • Namibia is the largest producer of this birthstone January
As you see, it’s a stereotype to think that a garnet is only of red color. Combined together, pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular and andradite are capable of shining like a rainbow – but obviously, a more costly one.
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How to choose garnet jewelry correctly
Here are some tips and tricks to wear garnet birthstone in your jewelry:
  • Don’t use garnet for your engagement ring. This gemstone is too soft and can be easily damaged. In terms of appropriate hardness, nothing can beat the diamond (well, only another diamond).
  • These days, the most popular garnet birthstone jewelry is rings, drop earring, pendants, and tiaras.
  • The most popular garnet color is green, found in African Tsavorite, Russian Demantoid, and tourmaline
  • The garnet quality has similar characteristics as a diamond has. Precisely, the birthstone January has a special cut and clarity. And, of course, the color intensity. Reacting under the light, garnet can reveal itself as natural or synthetic – and so, make your jewelry gift more or less expensive.
  • The proper care of garnet is to wear it occasionally, due to its relatively low hardness. Keep it away from diamonds, rubies, and sapphires (they can scratch a garnet) or pearls (a garnet can scratch them). Always use a soft brush and warm soapy water to clean your garnets!
  • In addition to being a birthstone January, garnet is a traditional second wedding anniversary gift. Also, many people buy this gemstone to celebrate the special friendship with somebody.
Though selling garnets is not our specialization, you can always refer to Diamond Registry and be sure you’ll get the expert opinion on how to take care of your precious stones.
And of course, if you’re interested in learning more about the strongest gemstone in the world (which is a diamond), submit a registration form and get the best jewel for the wholesale price from us!
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