Birthstone Facts: January’s Garnet

We wear them in our ears, around our necks, and about our wrists. It is the birthstone and they serve as a display of proudness that comes with embracing the month of the year that you were born in. So, what are some of the details connected to these birthstones and what does it have to do with you?


Some months have more than one stone attached to the celebration, but however many are associated with a month, there will always be a piece of jewelry for just the right birthday observance. Since January is the first month of the year, it is only fitting that we begin with the ins and outs of the birthstone associated with the month that brings us the New Year.


In the astrological sense, January starts with the sun within Capricorn and finishes with Aquarius. In regards to astronomy, Sagittarius and Capricornus are associated with the month. When it comes to birthstones, the garnet represents the month of January.


Before we get into the meat of the birthstone, let’s take a look at who might or might have worn a garnet to represent their birth month. The late and great Sir Issac Newton was born on January 4th. Musicians Elvis Presley and David Bowie have the same birthday on January 8th. Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15th, while heartthrob Orlando Bloom has a January 13th birthday. Historic figures, Al Capone and Benjamin Franklin had birthdays in January. Additional birthday celebrators in January include Jim Carrey, Muhammad Ali, and Kevin Costner.


Now, onto the garnet. In 3100 BC, the ancient Egyptians, placing them in their jewelry creations, used the garnet. This particular birthstone was also important during the Bronze Age when it became a fixture in the scene of abrasives and gemstones. While the dominant color of the stone is red, it can be found in a rainbow of colors, including a bright green shade that is referred to as a tsavorite. Often, the garnet has been described as resembling a pomegranate seed, which is where part of the origination of its name comes from. Today, the most important specimens of garnet come from countries, such as India, Sri Lanka, and in the continent of Africa.


When it comes to the garnet, there are six different types of the gemstone that you may encounter. The characteristics and categorization of these stones are based upon various chemical compositions. When searching for the perfect stone, you may encounter names and descriptions of gems, such as
pyrope, almandine (or carbuncle), spessartite, uvarovite and andradite. Garnets are also presented as grossularite, which produces variations like hessonite, tsavorite, and the uniquely named “cinnamon-stone.”


If you are intersted in possessing one of the rarer types of garnet, uvarovite is comprised of calcium chromium and is quite rare. The bright green shade of this stone is often uncovered in small crystals and appears in crystalline marbles located thorughout the mountains of Ural, which is situated in Russia. Outokumpu, Finland also offers a chance to come close to this rare gemstone.