What is the Birthstone for January?

With the beginning of a new year, many of us like to take stock of the year that was and make fresh plans for the start of a new year. And of course we are all working on those New Year’s resolutions too, aren’t we?? In the world of jewellery, different birthstones are associated with each month of the year. With the beginning of a new year, it is appropriate to look at what the birthstone for January is. With the passing of each month of the year, I will look at the birthstone for that month. I can’t guarantee that this will help you with those New Year resolutions, but who knows, it may give food for thought for a great gift for someone special that you know!

The Birthstone for January is Garnet

Garnets are found in an array of colours, including yellow, orange, brown to blues (very rare), purple, apricot and many shades of green. Some garnets even change colours when moved in different lights. But the most commonly found colour is red, usually a deep rusty brown red colour. In fact, the word “garnet” is from the 14th century word “gernet” that means dark red. The word is derived from the Latin word for grain or seed. It is thought that this may refer to the fruit of the pomegranate, which has a deep, rich edible red seed.

Garnet’s, although very beautiful, have a rating of 6.5 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness. Where a particular garnet falls on this scale will depend on the species of the particular garnet. Harder, opaque species of garnet are used as industrial abrasives.

Are Garnets Able to be Used In Jewellery?

The use of garnets in jewellery is a bit limited. As garnets are not very hard, they are not very practical for everyday wear. For a central stone in an engagement ring, you really need something that is very hard wearing. Really, diamonds and sapphires are best in terms of durability for an engagement ring, which is why we generally only work with these gemstones in the rings that we make. But for a dress ring or a cocktail ring that is not worn every day, some jewellers are happy to use garnets.

Of course, as the birthstone for January, if you want to give a gift of jewellery for someone born in January, you can incorporate garnets into earrings or a pendant. Earrings and pendants are not subject to the same everyday wear and tear as engagement rings. Having said this, at Ellissi, we generally only work with precious gemstones, as this is our area of speciality.

Like other birthstones, it is said that the wearer will benefit from the power of the stone. In the case of the garnet, the stone is supposed to endow the wearer with health, wealth and eternal happiness. The garnet symbolizes peace, prosperity and good health. Well, who knows about these things, but the world could certainly do with a little help with all these aspirations!

Many thanks to Wikipedia and to the American Gem Society for the information in this article.