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The Ultimate Guide to January’s Birthstone

Birthstones are gemstones that represent the month of a person’s birth – possessing attributes that are unique to each gemstone, the countless myths and legends associated with them appeal to audiences around the world.

If you were born in January, your birthstone is Garnet.

Fine jewellery and engagement ring experts at Steven Stone have revealed everything you need to know about the beautiful stone.

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What do we know about Garnet?

Garnets are commonly red but also come in an extraordinary range of beautiful colors – including orange, yellow, purple and vibrant green. 

The name ‘Garnet’ originates from the medieval Latin granatus, which means pomegranate, in reference to the similarity of the red colour. 

Garnets are formed when metamorphic rocks are subjected to heat and pressure that break the chemical bonds in the rocks and cause minerals to recrystallize. The stone is made up of many minerals – including pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, andradite, and uvarovite. 

What’s the history of Garnet?

Garnets have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives.

Necklaces studded with red garnets adorned the pharaohs of ancient Egypt, whilst signet rings in ancient Rome featured garnet intaglios that were used to stamp the wax that they used to secure important documents.

The clergy and nobility of the Middle Ages had a preference for red garnets.

What does Garnet symbolise?

 According to Indian astrology, garnet helps eliminate negative feelings – such as depression, anxiety and guilt – and instill greater self-confidence and mental clarity to promote creative thinking and peace of mind. 

In ancient and medieval times, garnet was also used as a remedy for inflammatory diseases and to soothe the angry heart.

How to tell the difference between a Ruby and a Garnet

Garnets are often confused with rubies. However, there are a few key differences between the two.

Colour: Garnets are typically a different colour. While rubies are a lighter, brighter red, garnets are deeper, more intense red. Garnets also come in a variety of colours, whereas rubies can only be red.

Price: Garnets are an inexpensive alternative to rubies, which are considerably more expensive.

Light: If you’re unable to tell the difference, a trick is to hold the gem in question up to a light source. If there are yellow and gold bands present when you look at the stone under a light, then it’s garnet, not ruby. 

If you’re looking for some more inspiration, why not take a look at our full jewellery collection? If you don’t see anything that takes your fancy, we also offer a bespoke service, where our jewellery designers will create a unique piece of jewellery that ticks all the boxes.

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