January - Garnet
Passion — Renewal — Balance
Garnet is the birthstone of January and is said to bring love, luck, health, loyalty, and friendship to people who are born on this month. This extraordinary gemstone comes in a rainbow of colors, from the fiery orange Spessartite and deep red Pyrope to the rich green Tsavorite and rose pink Rhodolite. Garnet’s virtues have been long believed to include passion, fidelity, success, self-esteem, loyalty, devotion, energy, faith, consistency, and truth. The gemstone is an energizing stone used to attract and activate passion and success, and sharpens one’s perception of the self and other people. It is said to inspire contemplation and truthfulness, and offers its wearer the power to protect their standing and possessions. It can remove emotional and energetic blocks that may be limiting one’s vitality, as well as old patterns that can get in the way. Garnet is said to create energetic and emotional balance in the body. Garnet is also an ancient symbol of friendship. In the past, garnets have been exchanged between parting friends to symbolize their affection and to ensure that they meet again.
Almandine and Pyrope are the most widely used garnet gemstones. Though Almandine is the most common garnet, it is usually opaque and not fit for gemstone use. Pyrope is especially noted for its transparency and frequent lack of flaws or inclusions. A rose-red to violet variety of Pyrope (or intermediary between Almandine and Pyrope) is known as Rhodolite and is a very well represented in the gem trade. Spessartite is an orange to orange-red form of garnet, and has recently increased in popularity, with several new deposits of gem grade material having been recently exploited. Another valuable specimen of garnets are Malaya, occupying an intermediate position between Pyropes and Spessartine. These crystals differ pinkish-orange, reddish-orange or yellowish-orange color. Grossular, the most varicolored form of garnet, has the important gem variety of green Tsavorite, as well as orange-brown Hessonite and a yellow to yellow-green form. Andradite, the most lustrous of the garnets, has the rare green Demantoid variety, the yellow Topazolite variety. Color-changing Garnet is an interesting form of this gemstone that has a different color when viewed in natural and incandescent lighting. It can have several color combinations, especially brown or orange in daylight to a pink or light red in incandescent light.
Tsavorite Garnet (Green Garnet) – Found only along the wild spaces of the Kenyan and Tanzanian border, Tsavorite possesses the most brilliance among the green gemstones. The colors vary from yellowy green to verdant forest colors. It is occasionally flawless and has very few inclusions. Having formed about 60 million years ago, Tsavorite is one of the oldest gemstones and the rarest of all garnets. Tsavorite is the gemstone of wealth, energy, confidence, kindness, and strength. It is said to be a gemstone of destiny as it helps the wearer find inner beauty and right direction. It works as a stress reliever and improves clarity of perception.
Rhodolite Garnet (Pink / Purple / Red) – The name of this gemstone is derived from the Greek “rose stone”. This garnet showcases all the brilliance and beauty of the garnet as it boasts a gorgeous array of reds, pinks, and shades of violet. The finest Rhodolites in the world is said to be found in the Umba River in Tanzania. Rhodolite is the gem of inspiration. It encourages kindness, compassion, love, and helps one to fulfill their life’s purpose. A warm, sincere, and trusting gemstone, Rhodolite illuminates positive energy and acts as a source of inspiration.
Malaia / Malaya Garnet (Red-Orange / Pink / Orange) – Malaia garnet is a beautiful, very rare gem with explosive brilliance. It is only found in one location in the world – the Umba Valley in Tanzania. This stunning gemstone varies from a gorgeous light to dark pinkish orange, to reddish orange, to yellowish orange. Malaia garnet is a happy and sharing gemstone. It brings joy, friendship, pleasure, and family togetherness. It also promotes companionship, affection, and intimacy.
Care for Your Garnet Jewelry
Depending on type, garnet hardness ranges from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Garnets have fair to good toughness, making them durable enough for all jewelry styles as long as they are treated with the proper care. Garnets should not be subjected to any hard blows or rough wear. Garnet jewelry is best cleaned with warm, sudsy water and a tightly woven microfiber or other soft cloth. The ultrasonic cleaner is usually safe except for stones that have fractures. Avoid steam cleaning. Take all your fine jewelry to a professional jeweler at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and inspection.