Glamorous, Gleaming Garnet Birthstone Jewellery

Saturday, 30 December 2023
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Garnet Jewellery

Glamorous, Gleaming Garnet Birthstone Jewellery

For those born in January – New Year’s babies if you like – the garnet is assigned as the gem of choice for a January birthstone ring, usually in its most recognisable deep red form. While garnet birthstone jewellery is a wonderful choice for those born in January it is so versatile and variable that almost anyone will appreciate its beauty in jewellery form to wear it any time of year.

What are Garnets?

The term “garnet” refers to a group of several closely related minerals rather than a single mineral. There are many distinct varieties and colours of garnets, each with its own unique set of physical properties. There are, though, some general commonalities between all the types of garnet.

January Birthstone JewelleryIn general, when it comes to its suitability for use in jewellery, garnet is considered hardy and a good choice for any everyday wear ring like a January birthstone ring. But it has many other uses too.

Since the Bronze Age, garnets have been utilised as abrasives as well as gemstones for jewellery and ornaments. Due to the garnet’s good hardness and weather resistance, it can be utilised as a filler in concrete used in harsh settings, as well as a skid-resistant road aggregate, and in skid-resistant paints.

Industrial water jet cutting, filtration, polishing, and blast cleaning all use garnets. A high-pressure jet of water with garnet and other abrasive grains in it is produced by a waterjet cutter. A piece of metal, ceramic, or stone will be sliced when the jet is pointed towards it, and very little dust will be produced in the process.

In abrasives, garnet is beginning to take the place of silica since silica is hazardous to the health of workers, as a condition known as silicosis, which has been associated with silica.

Because they can be utilised as battery electrolytes, researchers have recently been quite interested in lithium-oxide garnets. Lithium-stuffed garnets are garnet crystals that include a lot of lithium atoms in their structure and have been employed in rechargeable battery technology. However, it is as beautiful jewellery gemstones that garnets remain most popular.

What Colours are Garnets Available In?

When most people think of January birthstone jewellery, and garnets in general, they conjure up images of a deep red gemstone, and it is indeed in this deeper red form that the vast majority of garnet birthstone jewellery is created and sold.

However, this versatile gemstone is actually found in a rainbow of colours. These include orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, blue, black, and pink.

How Durable are Garnets?

Garnet EarringsThe Mohs scale rates garnet’s hardness between 6.5 and 7.5, depending on the type. For instance, whereas demantoid is a little softer, almandine, pyrope, spessartine, and tsavorite are on the harder side.

Given the correct care, garnets have a reasonable to good degree of hardness, making them suitable for use in many types of jewellery. However, to ensure that they remain at their beautiful best, you should never subject garnets to extreme impacts, although it’s usually quite safe to wear a garnet as a January birthstone ring on a daily basis.

In terms of care, a simple soak in soapy water occasionally is all that a garnet gemstone jewellery piece will usually need to help it remain bright and beautiful.

Where in the World are Garnets Found?

Garnets can be found in locations all over the world, sometimes as mineable rocks and sometimes in surface level clusters. As we have mentioned already here, garnets come in a variety of forms, and each form can be encountered in different places.

Pyrope is found in South Africa, Sri Lanka, China, and Madagascar, whereas almandite is found in India, Brazil, and the United States. Other species include Grossularite from South Africa, Zambia, and Myanmar, Spessartite from China, Tanzania, and Kenya, and Uvarovite from Poland, Russia, and Finland.

Garnets in History, Legend and Myth

Birthstone Necklace JanuarySince the Bronze Age, garnets have been considered prized possessions. In fact, a well-preserved pendant on a man who was buried in 3000 B.C. was discovered to contain the oldest dated garnet. The appeal of garnet has persisted over time despite changes in the stone’s importance and perceived meaning.

The word garnet, which means “seed like” in Latin, was used to give the gemstone its name, as it was thought to resemble the little red pomegranate seeds. Garnet was valued and used in both Eastern and Western society as an adornment because of its extraordinary hues, but it was utilised as a treatment for the Black Plague throughout the Middle Ages.

Additionally, it was thought that the stone would change colours to alert the wearer of impending danger, guarantee devotion, and avoid disagreements. However, garnet was not first thought to have magical properties by mediaeval Europeans.

The daughter of Zeus, Persephone, was taken by Hades and transported to the underworld, according to Greek mythology. The deity of the underworld wanted to guarantee her return before releasing her. He handed her pomegranate seeds to ensure her return in order to accomplish this.

Therefore, the gemstone named after pomegranate seeds, garnet, came to symbolise the assurance of a safe return because of this old myth. As a result, friends gave garnets to one another as gifts as they parted ways to ensure that they would run into one another again.

The large red garnet that illuminated the ark in the Talmudic account of Noah’s Ark is well known in some religious circles, and the garnet was sought after in the Middle Ages as a treatment for depression. The Hunzas even fought the British in northern Pakistan between 1889 and 1892 using garnet bullets. Because garnets are often red, like blood, they were thought to make better bullets than lead.

However, garnet has also historically been linked to women and the feminine life force, and the pomegranate has also been recognised to represent the womb and was often gifted in ancient civilizations to a bride to help ensure her new union would be fruitful, and this is a tradition that continued all over the world for centuries.

Garnet Birthstone Jewellery Meanings

Many people who love gemstone jewellery, including January birthstone jewellery, believe that certain meanings, and even ‘powers’ can be associated with each of them, and whether you are one of these people or not it is always fascinating to learn more about what these are.

Some of the meanings assigned to garnets in history remain meaningful to people who choose to wear it today. In addition to wearing garnet as January birthstone jewellery or as a garnet birthstone ring some people still gift garnet jewellery to those about to embark on a long trip or journey to help ensure their safe return home, just like the Ancients did.

As mental health is a major point of concern to us in the modern world, those who look to gemstones and crystals for healing also still value it for its purported effectiveness in helping combat depression and feel that wearing garnet jewellery on a regular basis helps to contribute to a more positive mood and state of mind in general.

In terms of physical health, some believe that garnets can help reduce inflammation and ‘strengthen’ the heart, and even fortify the blood it pumps. Many also still see a garnet as a powerful fertility booster.

However, you choose to wear garnet jewellery, whether as a January birthstone ring, or as garnet birthstone jewellery in general, or simply as a stunning addition to your personal collection of jewellery one thing is for sure: it’s a beautiful choice that you, and others, will admire for years to come!

Author Bio

Jill Hansen runs Anastasia’s Of Broome and is a highly recognised expert in both the fields of South Sea Pearls and Diamonds. Jill trained in seeding pearls in the Cook Islands by Japanese Pearl Technicians, and established a wholesale pearl business selling pearls all over the world. She pioneered the combination of pearls and diamonds to create Lust™ Pearls, a unique fusion of these two beautiful gemstones. Jill holds the prestigious recognition of being an Antwerp Diamond Broker for selecting and sourcing Diamonds direct from the diamond capital of the world, Antwerp. She is a diamond expert and is happy to use and impart her knowledge to help customers make informed decisions.

Not sure what your birthstone is check out our article on all monthly gemstones here.


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