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Garnet - January Birthstone


"By her who is this month was born
No gem save garnets shall be worn
They will ensure her constancy
True friendship and fidelity."

Two butterfly between-the-finger ring in yellow gold with round tsavorite garnets and white gold with diamonds by Van Cleef & Arpels

Garnets are known to be one of the most interesting and intriguing stones out there. It is the traditional birthstone for all the January born. The name “garnet” derives from the Latin word “granatum” because the garnet crystals resembling pomegranate's seed by form and colour.

In reality, garnets come in a spectrum of different colours. Juicy tones of scarlet and mauve-red in Pyrope, Rhodolite, Almandine variety of garnet, bright Orange in Spessartine, Malaya garnets. Sunny yellow tones of Hessonite and Topazolite. Hydrogrossular, Tsavorite, Demantoid, Uvarovite garnets come in lovely rare hues of greens. Moreover, Some can have brown and black colours; others can even change colours from bluish-green to purplish-red or display a beautiful rainbow iridescent effect. 

Theo Fennel mandarin garnet and rose gold Bombe ring


It is noted that garnets are 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. They have bright vitreous lustre and can vary in transparency. The Gemmology of garnets is fascinating because garnet varieties have groups of isomorphous series. In other words, the minerals will possess same crystal structure but different chemical composition. Apart from chemistry, they also differ in series of gemological properties like RI, SG and Inclusions. Different properties make it harder to identify the gems, however, there is an easy test using strong neodymium magnets. Garnet is attracted to neodymium magnets because it contains high concentrates of iron and/or manganese.


Garnet and diamonds gold turlte lapel brooch


Garnets are found almost all over the world, including Sri Lanka, Malaya, India, various countries in Africa, Uruguay, Russia, U.S. and Brazil. Although there are some rare and expensive varieties, overall garnets are inexpensive stones. Because of the monetary value and range of colours they are vastly used in jewellery. During the 18th and the 19th centuries, garnets were extremely popular especially in Europe, where Bohemian garnet jewellery was in fashion. 

Throughout the years garnet was known as a symbol of friendship and that it brings peace, prosperity and good health to the owners. However, no matter why or how you wear garnet, this exquisite gemstone is perfect for those who share January birthdays and get to start each New Year with a sense of goodwill, happiness, and purpose.



Main photo - Luna garnet and diamond ring in 18k rose gold by Kiki McDonough




Zhanna @IGR London