Garnet: January Birthstone
The January garnet birthstone represents an especially important month, both as a delicious ruby-red standout of a gemstone, and as a monument to a fresh new year.
Ironically, the name of the delectable red garnet gemstone is taken from the Latin word, granatus, translated to English as pomegranate.
In ancient times, as a distinctive gemstone of Egyptian and Roman kings, garnets from India were often seen gracing the hands of royals. With a Mohs scale of mineral hardness rating between 6 and 7, the gemstone cutters were able to fashion beautiful signet ring designs with moderate ease.
January Birthstone Composition
The beauty of the garnet comes in a variety of colors, made from a marriage of five different materials. This range of colors comes in purple hues to orange, green, yellow, and, of course, red. Recognized for their value in jewelry, the individual stones are: pyrope, amalandite, spesserit, grossulatte, and radiate.
Pyrope and Almandine range from purple (lightest) to red (darkest). Spessartine has an orange color. Andradite is yellowish to green. Grossular varies from a clear variety to red-orange, and even to a vivid green color called tsavorite.
Garnet vs Ruby
Although there are several varieties of garnets (ranging from orange, green, black, and even honey-brown) the red variety often finds itself in visual competition with the similarly beloved ruby gemstone. But there are differences.
Although similar in its radiant beauty, the ruby is a more resilient stone. Rating a 9 on the Mohs scale, and impressively near the diamond, the ruby also conveys light differently than does the garnet.
While the light passing through a gemstone reveals the secrets of its birthstone origins with greater dimension given to a variety of color combinations, including subtle orange, while the ruby yields a stronger red blush.
An interesting fun fact: a rare-earth magnet, known as a neodymium magnet, has what’s known as a “pick-up” response when introduced to a garnet. This unique magnetic attraction (or magnetic susceptibility) is sometimes used by jewelers to distinguish various garnet varieties and their mineral composition.
The Enviable Beauty Of The Garnet Birthstone
January garnet birthstone jewelry has such eye-catching appeal that even people unaffiliated with the birth month find themselves drawn to the gemstone’s rich red blush. For those lucky enough to claim the stone as their own, we celebrate you (and your special day).
For those with an eye for the illustrious beauty of the January birthstone’s red glow, feel free to treat yourself to something special in the form of a bracelet or necklace of imported red designer crystals. At HerMJ, our handcrafted designed jewelry includes natural gemstones as well as a touch of color from Austrian crystals in gleaming garnet-red.
Have a look at our jewelry collection in our designer gallery and see for yourself.