Those born in January are lucky to have the beautiful and diverse garnet as their birthstone. Garnet gemstones are among the most diverse gemstone groups because they encompass different species and varieties. Garnets drastically range in colour, with some rare varieties exhibiting phenomenal details, like a star effect (asterism) or a colour-change effect when viewed under different lighting!
Named after the Latin word “granatum” which means pomegranate. With associations with the heart, blood, inner fire, and life force, garnets have long been considered symbols of love, often called the stone of health, this rich red stone was believed to give its wearer energy and protect against illness. It has been sourced in India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and beyond. In ancient times, Egyptians used it as a symbol of fertility and long life. Others used it as a stone of rebirth for people who had already passed on. In the Middle Ages, kings wore garnets on their crowns as a symbol of strength and protection from evil.
Depending on the type, garnet hardness ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Almandine, pyrope, spessartine, and tsavorite are on the harder side while demantoid is a bit softer. Garnets have fair to good toughness, making them durable enough for all jewellery styles as long as they are treated with the proper care. Facet junctions will show wear within the first few years of being worn.