There’s no better way to start the new year than with a birthday celebration on the horizon. And to make it even sweeter for January babies, they have one of the most stunning and colourful birthstones to celebrate their birth month with.

What is the birthstone for January?

January’s birthstone is the dazzling and colourful garnet. The word ‘garnet’ derives from the word ‘seed’, as January’s birthstone has a similar colour to that of a pomegranate seed. It’s quite fitting, as January is the month of new beginnings with resolutions and promises to be better.

The meaning associated with January’s birthstone is love and friendship, making this gem a perfect gift for any loved one born in this month. The January birthstone has been believed to strengthen the health of the wearer, focusing on the heart.

Please see an example of garnet adorned jewellery above.

What are garnets like?

All garnets have a refractive index, meaning light hits the inside of the stone, then is bounced back out giving it more brilliance. The term brilliance is used in gemology to describe the amount of light reflected out to the eye. Really, this is all a fancy way of saying it looks extra sparkly.

The birthstone for January scores between a 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale which is a test of strength. This means it is durable and strong, but be careful it doesn’t suffer any hard blows.

If you’ve read our collection of birthstone blogs, you might have noticed the Ancient Egyptians had a flair for gold and gems. They were lovers of luxury and attached a lot of meaning to precious stones. In preparation for the afterlife, the Egyptians would adorn the tombs of loved ones with different gems, believing they would take the stones with them after death.

Gems were important to the living too. Jewellery was worn for many reasons, including to show wealth, offer protection, and attract prosperity. The colour of the gems was significant to the Egyptians, which is why red garnets were collected specifically. Garnets became popular for trade not just as jewellery, but for far more unusual reasons. Romans would use garnets to stamp over wax to seal important documents, for example.

Types of garnet

People born in this month are lucky, as there are such a variety of birthstone colours for January. There are many forms of garnets to consider if you are planning on buying one. Pyrope, almandine and grossular are the main garnet species. Pyrope and almandine range from purple to orangish-red, while grossular has a large colour variety, from colourless to amber to green.

Sometimes they are divided into categories because the vast colour variety can cause confusion. For example, tsavorites is a grossular garnet variety which is green. Hessonsite is also a grossular variety, but this type ranges from ambers and oranges to reds and browns. A demantoid is a green variety of andradite. This naming system makes it easier to understand what type of green garnet you have, so you can distinguish a green tsavorite from a green demantoid.

The endless colours and variations make this gemstone desirable, versatile, and good value for money. We have a selection of garnets in our jewellery collection, as well as beautiful variety of other precious gems, so make sure to explore our range of necklaces, earrings and bracelets today.