January’s birthstone is the beautiful Garnet.
The name ‘garnet’ comes from the Latin word ‘Granatus’ meaning seedlike, in reference to a pomegranate. Small garnets are said to look like the bright red seeds you find inside the fruit. Red garnets have a long history but these days you can choose from a rich palette of greens, oranges, purplish reds and even some blues. Red is still the most common of the gems, whereas a green garnet (known as tsavorite) is much rarer.
Garnets are a set of closely related minerals that form a group, resulting in gemstones in almost every colour. Tsavorite is so rare because it needs unusual rock chemistries and special conditions to form. Demantoid is a rare and famous green garnet, spessartine is an orange garnet and rhodolite is a beautiful purple-red garnet. They can even be found as colour changing gems like alexandrite.
Expert gemologist Campbell Bridges mined tsavorite garnet in Kenya near Tsavo National Park. The Imperial Russian jeweller created intricate jewellery designs for demantoid garnet. A stylish red garnet bead necklace found in a grave in Egypt is more than 5000 years old, dating back to 3800BC.
In Greek mythology, a pomegranate was thought to be a gift of love and is also associated with eternity. Now, the garnet is still seen as a gift of love and is traditionally given for the 2nd, 6th or 19th year anniversary. It’s also a symbol of a fast return and separated love, as Hades gave a pomegranate to Persephone before she left him to ensure her quick return. So it is also a lovely gift to give to a beloved before they embark on a long trip, as it is said to heal the broken bonds of lovers.
Garnet is a durable gemstone, making it a great choice for a piece of jewellery, however it will need some care in order to keep your jewellery looking as good as the day it was bought. Garnet should be stored in a soft pouch or jewellery box to prevent scratching and damage.
If you would like a piece of birthstone jewellery for yourself or your loved one, please feel free to get in contact. And if you would like to know more about your birthstone, please click on the link below to download our complementary guide.
Love, Roseanna & Co x