Garnet: The January Birthstone

Garnet: The January Birthstone

Skeie's Jewelers
2 minute read


January’s birthstone, the Garnet, is one of the oldest gemstones.

The stone’s name originates from the Latin word: “granatus,” meaning the seeds of a pomegranate. In the French language, “grenat” was used as a noun to refer to the deep-red gemstone. This term was later introduced into the English language and became known as “garnet.”


Garnets have been used since the Bronze Age. Jewelry with red garnets embellished the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. Signet rings in ancient Rome often featured garnet intaglios to stamp official documents. A garnet necklace was even found in an Egyptian grave that was dated to be around 5,000 years old. 

Throughout its history, garnet sourcing spread across many regions. The Bohemia region, for example, was the primary source of the red pyrope garnets during the Victorian era. 

In the present day, the African continent is the primary supplier of most of the world’s garnet. While best known for its deep red color, the gemstone naturally occurs in any color. Garnets can range in appearance from opaque to transparent, as well. Tsavorite garnet is one of the rarest colors, and it is recognizable by its rich deep green hue. 

Garnet Ring with Diamonds

Garnet’s unique red color comes from the high amounts of the Pyrope mineral. Garnet contains other minerals such as almandine, grossular, and uvarovite. These minerals allow for the diverse color range of a January gem. With different varieties of garnet, this gemstone ranges between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness. This birthstone can be more susceptible to damage with regular wear. Always be thoughtful when storing garnet pieces and cleanse your jewelry gently, using a soft brush and warm soapy water. 

Explore our garnet jewelry and work with our experienced staff to find the perfect January birthstone, a piece to celebrate your anniversary, or a special occasion!


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