January Birthstone: Garnet

The deep red color, multifaceted history, lores and legends all add the mysticism of the garnet. For those who were born in the month of January the garnet is the traditional birthstone. This warm, bright stone stands in contrast to the cold month of January and is said to bring good health and protection for its owner.

The word garnet is derived from the Greek word “granatum” which means “pomegranate seed” which reflect the shape and color of the crystals.


The January birthstone is not just confined to the deep red color, garnets can be found in nearly all other colors including orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, black, and colorless. Rhodolite is a purplish red, hessonite is the name for an orange, cinnamon, or pinkish variety. Tsavorite is the name given to dark green grossularite. Uvarovite and demantoid are also green varieties. Rhodolite is a purplish red, hessonite is the name for an orange, cinnamon, or pinkish variety.


Garnets are a realm of minerals all having the same essential crystal structure, but they do vary in chemical composition and physical properties. Second to the Quartz family, the Garnet family is the most diverse of all gem mineral families. All garnets possess high indices of refraction, desirable hardness, and wonderful transparency and have pretty colors, thus are qualifying candidates for fashion jewelry.

Garnets range from a 7.0 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness and are found in the U.S. (Arizona), South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Myanmar (Burma), Scotland, Switzerland and Tanzania.


Fun Facts

Red is the predominant color but orange, green, pink, yellow, black and violet are also available.


The word Garnet comes from the latin ‘granatum’, which means pomegranate seed. It isn’t hard to see why!

Garnets have a long association with the mankind. Garnet jewelry has been found in prehistoric graves and it was believed that the stone offered protection in the afterlife.

Garnet was considered to symbolize faith, constancy and truth.

The Greeks believed that the gem shields against drowning and nightmares, denotes passion, fidelity and devotion, strengthen faith, friendship and courage, therefore used it as talisman and amulets.


For Egyptians the gem was a curative and antidote against venom and food poisoning.

In Old Spain, pomegranate was a favorite and due the similar resemblance garnets too.

Garnets used to represent sun in Spanish astrology.

The King of Saxony is said to have had a 465 carats garnet. Its size was equal to ten Hope diamonds.

Plato had his portrait engraved on a garnet.

Today, Garnet remains as a gift of love and is traditionally given for the 19th anniversary of marriage.

How to care for garnet:


Garnets are quite durable. They have the hardness of 6.5 – 7.5 on moh’s scale and are very handy. Garnet jewelry can be worn daily and require little efforts to care. The basic rules of cleaning and maintaining gemstone jewelry are enough for garnets. Simple clean your jewelry in mild detergent with lukewarm water, pat dry with soft muslin cloth and always keep them separately wrapped in a muslin cloth in your jewelry box.

Don’t wear your gemstones while washing, gardening or doing any strenuous work.

Garnets and the red carpet:

Garnets are often get overlooked as compare to their peers like diamonds, rubies or emeralds but the gem has its niche in the hearts of celebrities. Jennifer Carpenter, Mariska Hargitay, Sofia Vergara, Julia Ormond, Minka Kelly, Selena Gomez and Jessie J have spotted wearing garnets at different events


Garnets and Royalty:

It was one of Queen Victoria’s favorite stone and like royals the gem in different shades has been cherished by celebrities.


Shop from our carefully selected collection of garnet jewelry ! Check out the slide show below, the jewelry is available at www.angara.com.


  • Reply January 23, 2013


    A useful article. Can help a a gem enthusiast with comprehensive details at one place. Good Work!

    • Reply February 26, 2015

      Ankit Daga

      Thank you for your kind words Shurti! Absolutely, as a gemstone enthusiast you under the value, knowledge and education we are providing you. If you ever have any questions or curiosity, feel free to reach one of our Personal Jewelers, they are truly jewelry enthusiasts and you will learn more than you can image. I am sure you have several questions, and we certainly have several answers for you.

  • Reply November 21, 2015


    yellow garnet?? Is there such? I have a late January birthday. Recently impressed with the citrine jewel. May I switch>

    • Reply November 21, 2015

      Ankit Daga

      Hello Doris,

      Thank you for your comment. Yes, like sapphire, garnet also comes in a variety of colors, including yellow. Absolutely, citrine is another impressive sparkling gemstone, quite underrated. You may be pleasantly surprised as to how gorgeous citrine can get. Send your personal number to ankit.daga@angara.com, and I would be more than happy to have one of our Personal Jewelers contact you directly.

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