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January Birthstone: History, Meaning & Jewellery

Jewellery & Watch News

Those born in January are paired with the stunning Garnet gemstone with its stunning shade of red also associated with celebrating the second anniversary of marriage. It’s spellbinding and hypnotising clarity has long held a lot of mysticism in the world, often associating itself with royalty, power and a deep sense of luxury. It is for this exact reason that Garnet jewellery and the January birthstone jewellery remains so popular.

While universally accepted for its fiery red tones, Garnet has also been found in shades of orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Its name, however, comes from the Latin word “Garanatus” which means “seedlike” in reference to the vivid red colour of pomegranate seeds. The most common type of Garnet is named Mozambique Garnet, renowned for its delicious apple-red colour and unmissable clarity.

History of Garnet

It is unknown when exactly the Garnet gemstone was first discovered but remnants of the stone have been found to date back to the 3000 B.C. In history, it has been coveted by royals and civilians alike, adored by Egypt’s pharaohs who were entombed with the gemstone, ancient Romans who often wore signet rings carved with Garnets and the King of Saxony who is said to have had a Garnet gemstone over 465 carats.

Years ago, Bohemia was one of the world’s main sources of Garnet and for this reason, many Bohemian castles and churches were beautifully dressed in interiors of garnet. To this day, you can visit several churches in Bohemia that still adorn these decorations and the country remains famous for its associations with its stone, particularly smaller sized Garnets that are set close to each other resembling a pomegranate. In 1912, the modern birthstone list was created, and the Garnet was carefully selected as the birthstone for January.

Where are Garnets found?

Garnet can be found all over the globe with each different composition of the stone traced to its own unique source.  Most commonly, the Garnet gemstone is found in Mozambique, Madagascar, USA, Kenya, Turkey, India, China and even Tanzania.

Properties of Garnet

As previously mentioned, while Garnet is popularly associated with vivid tones of red, it can come in different chemical compositions in colours such as orange, blue, purple, pink, yellow and green. Gemmologists generally consider Garnet not as a single mineral but as a group of different silicate minerals, all of which are known for being incredibly tactile and robust. Garnet has a range of 6.5-7 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.

Powers of Garnet

The Garnet gemstone is associated with a huge number of powers and properties, most of which have derived from beliefs from the past. In history, warriors from many cultures wore the stone to help them in battles as they believed the powerful red colour would make them brave and courageous and could even help heal their wounds. Practitioners from the past also used Garnet as a healing stone.

During the Medieval Age, Garnet was associated with curing depression, protecting against bad dreams and healing diseases related to the liver. Christian tradition has also linked the apple-red shade of Garnet to symbol of Christ’s sacrifice and believe Noah used a glowing garnet to illuminate the ark during the dark wet days and nights. Also widely associated with passion and romance, Garnet for many years has been given as a gift of love and to this day remains the celebratory gemstone of couple’s second wedding anniversaries.

Garnet Jewellery

Whether you’re celebrating a January birthday, buying for your partner for your second wedding anniversary or you’re simply in love with the enchanting red shades of the gemstone, Garnet jewellery is a must-have for every woman. Its wonderfully versatile properties means it can be worn for all occasions and when paired with other gemstones, like our famous Blue John or Whitby Jet, it’s contrasting composition looks truly extraordinary.

 You can shop a huge range of Garnet jewellery and January birthstone jewellery on the C W Sellors website including Garnet necklaces, Garnet pendants, Garnet bracelets, Garnet earrings, Garnet rings, Garnet brooches and Garnet cufflinks. Get in touch with the team today for more information on the Garnet gemstone and the interest free finance and free next day delivery available on our collection of Garnet jewellery.

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