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January Birthstones

What is the January birthstone?

The January birthstone is Garnet.

Garnets are probably the most diverse of all gemstone families:

  • Size - garnets can range from large sizes suitable for pendants and brooches to tiny gems for side stones and accent stones
  • Shape - garnets feature is every gemstone shape - with ovals, squares, rounds and marquise being the most popular
  • Versatile - garnets can look equally as good as faceted gemstones or cabochon cuts and there are color-change and star garnets, too.

January Birthstone – Garnet Colors

We usually think of red when mentioning garnets but this gemstone can also be found in any color you could imagine.

With their varied crystal and mineral make up they can be orange, yellow, green, purple and pink along with every possible color blend in between. The only exception seems to be a blue that stays blue as the rare blue garnets change to purple under incandescent lighting!

January Birthstone – Garnet Species

Common garnets and their colors include:

  • Pyrope - Red
  • Rhodolite - Pinkish/Purplish Red
  • Tsavorite - Bright Green
  • Demantoid - Sparkling Green
  • Hessonite - Orange
  • Spessartite - Orange
  • Malaya - Pink

And there are plenty more besides.

January Birthstone - Garnet Species

There are countless species of garnet and to make things even more complicated, these species are very rarely pure but a mixture of two or more variations.

There are five species that are most commonly used as gemstones.

  • Almandine
  • Pyrope
  • Spessartite
  • Grossular
  • Andradite

These species often combine to create some well known gemstones or have been given much more attractive sounding names.

For example:

  • Tsavorite is a grossular garnet
  • Malaya Garnet is a mixture of pyrope and spessartite
  • Demantoid is an andradite garnet
  • Rhodolite is a mixture of pyrope and almandine
  • Mali Garnet is a mixture of grossular and andradite

The January Birthstone Price - How expensive is Garnet?

Garnets cover the complete range of gemstone prices from the very reasonable cost of pyropes and almandines to the exclusive price tags of tsavorites and demantoids. In between, sit the affordable and stunning hessonite, spessartite, rhodolite, Malaya and more.

For more details please refer to our full Garnet Info page here

What are the spiritual benefits of Garnet - The January Birthstone?

Garnets have been revered for their spiritual strengths for thousands of years and just some of their powers include:

  • Protective and Healing
  • Grounding and Energizing
  • Detoxifying and Purifying
  • Improves Sexuality

See our detailed article on Garnet meaning and uses

The January Birthstone - Garnet and the Chakras

As Garnets can be found in just about every color to match the colors of each Chakra point with the possible exception of blue for the Throat Chakra they are very useful for Chakra healing. They are most commonly used for the lower Chakras - Root, Sacral and Solar Plexus.

Find more details on Chakra gemstones here

The January Birthstone - Garnet Treatments

Garnets one of the few gemstones that are not enhanced in any way by treatments other than the usual cutting, shaping and polishing - they are all-natural beauties.

The January Birthstone - Garnet History

Garnets were named in 1270 by Philosopher Albertus Magnus because of their similarity to bright red pomegranate seeds. However these gemstones were well known to us since the days of the ancient Greeks and Romans, indeed, in the biblical story of Noah, the only light on his ark was a giant Garnet.

Other famous garnets such as the demantoids of the Ural mountains in Russia and the tsavorites of Tanzania are more recent discoveries.

The January Birthstone - Where are Garnets found?

Garnets can be found in all the usual mining locations - India, Brazil, Sri Lanka, Mozambique although the famous Tsavorites are really only found in Kenya and Tanzania and Demantoids are from Russia or Namibia.

The January Birthstone – What jewelry is Garnet suitable for?

Garnets as a group are rated between 6.5 and 7.5 on Mohs hardness scale and are strong enough to be used in all types of jewelry items.

Just about all garnets can be found in matching singles, pairs and lots so coordinated jewelry sets and multi-stone jewelry designs are a great option.

In addition to being the January birthstone, Garnet is also the traditional gemstone to celebrate the 2nd wedding anniversary.

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