Garnet Guide: All About January's Birthstone

garnet

January vibes are in full swing—packed with energy, just like those fiery garnets. Ever noticed their resemblance to pomegranate seeds? Well, turns out, their name is tied to the Latin word for pomegranate!

For all January babies out there, Garnet is your gem, echoing the lively spirit of the month. But this January birthstone isn't just skin-deep. Let's delve into the rich world of this birthstone that goes beyond its crimson allure.

Benefits of Garnet Gemstone

Curious about your birthstone’s reputed health benefits? Garnet, the energizer gemstone— revitalizes, purifies, balances energy. 

  • According to Indian astrology, garnet is thought to eliminate negative emotions such as depression and guilt.

  • It promotes greater self-confidence and mental clarity, fostering creative thinking and inner peace.

  • In ancient and medieval times, garnets were used as remedies for inflammatory diseases and to soothe agitated hearts.

  • During the Middle Ages, wearing garnets around the neck was believed to cure indigestion and sore throats.

  • A common thread in beliefs is the idea that garnet serves as protection, guarding its wearer from enemies, illnesses, or unsettling dreams.

Garnet Colors & Characteristics

Born from metamorphic rocks', Garnets are subjected to high heat and pressure, and come in more hues than just red. From Almandite's violet-tinted red to Tsavorite's green brilliance, the Garnet family is a kaleidoscope of colors. Ever found red-colored grains along beaches? Those might just be Garnets! 

The following is a list of the more common garnet gemstones and their colors:

  • Almandite: The most common garnet, displaying a red hue with a violet tint.

  • Rhodolite: Exhibiting a purplish-red or rose-colored tone.

  • Pyrope: Derived from the Greek word for fiery, it is a deep red stone often tinged with brown.

  • Hessonite: Features a brownish-red or cinnamon color.

  • Spessartite: Ranges from orange to reddish-brown; purer forms are known as mandarin garnet.

  • Malaia: Showcasing a spectrum of pinkish-orange, orange, or reddish-orange shades.

  • Tsavorite: A green to bluish-green garnet.

  • Demantoid: Green to bluish-green, distinguished by its diamond-like luster.

  • Lotus: Discovered in 2015, Lotus garnet is a newer variety with a unique pinkish-orange to orangey-pink color. It's a blend of pyrope, spessartine, and almandine garnet, usually found with rhodolite garnet or spinel.

Properties of Garnet 

Garnets are both hard and bright, standing as singly refractive gemstones. Their robust hues make them an excellent choice for fashion that celebrates vivid and strong tones.

Mineral : Silicate

Primary Color: Primarily red.

Hardness: 6.5 to 7.5 Mohs

Zodiac Signs: Capricorn, Aquarius

Symbol: Love, Friendship, Passion

Birthstone : January

Popular Shapes: Round, Pear, Oval

Rated 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale, these gems are durable, making them suitable for various garnet jewellery . However, be cautious of potential scratches when rubbing against harder gems.

The 4 C’s

Garnets, cherished for their color and luster, are evaluated based on:

Color: Varieties abound, but red dominates.

Carat: Garnets come in various sizes and shapes. Yet, tsavorite and demantoid in larger sizes are rare, making them particularly valuable. On the other hand, varieties like almandine are more affordable since they are commonly found in larger sizes.

Clarity: Generally eye-clean, though some may have visible inclusions.

Cuts: Versatile and can be cut into various shapes. 

Did You Know? 

Garnets stand out as one of the few gem types on the planet that undergo no gemological treatments whatsoever. Their natural allure remains untouched, adding to the uniqueness and authenticity of these exquisite gemstones.

Quality & Grading

While the majority of garnets remain untreated, it's worth noting that occasionally they might undergo fracture filling. Treaters aim to enhance clarity by filling surface-reaching breaks with a glass-like substance. Such treated stones demand special care: 

  • For cleaning, a soft brush with warm soapy water is always safe for garnets.
     
  • Ultrasonic cleaners are generally suitable, but caution is advised for stones with fractures or those that have been fracture filled.

  • Steam cleaning is not recommended.

Despite the absence of a standard quality grading parameter for garnets, the intense red variety can be classified into categories based on specific properties. 

January's gem, Garnet, is not just a birthstone; it's a celebration of strength, vibrancy, and unique style. Whether it's your January birthday or marking your 2nd wedding anniversary, don't miss the chance to explore Angara’s remarkable garnet collection. 

Share your thoughts on this timeless gemstone, and let the beauty of garnet become a cherished part of your celebrations.

FAQs: 

1. What distinguishes the various types of garnet, and do they each hold distinct meanings? 
Garnet comes in over twenty species, each with distinct colors and properties. For example, Pyrope’s deep red hue  signifies love, while Hessonite is linked to creativity.

2. What are the popular jewellery styles featuring garnet? 
Popular jewellery  styles featuring garnet include rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. Garnet jewellery  is available in a variety of designs, from classic and elegant to modern and unique, catering to different tastes and preferences

3. How can one differentiate between authentic garnets and imitations or synthetic stones?
Garnets are rarely synthetic, and their natural state makes them stand out. No need to worry about artificial processes.

 

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