All About January Birthstone – Garnet


Have you heard of garnets? It is the birthstone of January babies. When Daniel bought his wife Giselle a special garnet ring on her birthday even she confused it with the gemstone ruby. It turned out she was very happy with the ring.

Garnets, a species of gemstone that unlike other gemstones is not just one mineral but the composition of a group of closely related minerals. They come in a variety of chemical compositions and colors. Derived from the Latin word ‘granatum’, which means dark red, it often symbolizes life and energy. It is often compared to the red colored seeds of the fruit pomegranate.

It has special connotations for all the January kids as it’s their birthstone. These stones have been used for a long time and are believed to be more than a thousand years old. It is there since the Victorian era who made this stone popular and brought out different designs to make large fashion statements.

Related Article: A Quick Guide To Buying Zircon – December Birthstone

Different varieties of garnets

Garnet is a cluster of minerals that come in a variety of hues. You can find them in the market as burgundy or red stones. They come in a variety of chemical compositions. The varieties can be a bit confusing if you don’t understand the basic difference between them.

There are six different recognized varieties of garnet namely: Almandine, Pyrope, Uvarovite, grossularite, andradite, and spessartite.

Let’s discuss them in detail.


These have a distinctive red color and closely resemble ruby. They have impressive brilliance due to their high refractive index.


They are popular ones that come in different hues of red color. They are available in reddish-orange, brownish red, and pure red. It looks quite similar to pyrope, but it not so vivid. It is one of the common varieties available in the market with huge deposits spread all around the world.


It is another popular variety of garnet whose color ranges from greenish-yellow to lemon yellow. It can also be found in minty green color.


They are known for their lustre and is lustrous of them all. It has three different varieties under it:

  1. The emerald green to rare live green stones is known as demantoid.
  2. Lustrous opaque black melanite or black garnet
  3. Brownish-yellow to yellow stones topazolite


Another variety of garnet is uvarovite, which is consistently green. The stone is deep emerald green in color which is very rare and quite valuable.


Another rare species of garnet is Spessartite that comes in reddish or vivid orange hues. Due to its vivid color, it is also known as ‘Mandarin garnet’. As the sources are depleting it has become very difficult to come across this particular species of high-quality garnet.

Even if you know which is which, you must know how to evaluate this stone to make a piece of jewelry out of it.

Here, are a few tips to help you understand the value of the garnet.

How to Evaluate Your Garnet?

Evaluation is very important if you are planning to buy any gemstone. Wearing them, as considered by the people, brings in good luck. Wearing a bad one cause you a lot of trouble. Just like any other gemstone, to evaluate the garnet you need to follow 4Cs – clarity, color, cut, and carat.

Garnet Color

The first point of evaluation of any gemstone is its color. For garnet, it is the most significant quality factor. They come in a variety of shades and colors such as burgundy, red, brown, green, orange, and even black. Those that are in red are the most valuable ones. You can also find exceptions like that of brilliant green.

Some garnets change their colors depending upon the light in which it is viewed. Like for instance, there are garnets that may appear gray, beige, or even green in daylight but turn to purple-pink or red when they are viewed under the incandescent light.

Garnet cut

These birthstones are available in standard shapes and sizes as they can be easily set in the jewelry. Red garnets are common cuts. But there are valuable and rare varieties of garnets such as demantoids and tsavorites that cut into shapes to retain their carat weight.

Garnet Clarity

The clarity of the January birthstone depends on its variety. Garnets are clean stones that are generally transparent and show a glassy lustre. Visible inclusions cannot be found in red garnets like almandine and pyrope.

But in orange garnets like hessonite and spessartine, you can find inclusions. It is because of this inclusion, a star-like effect is created and is treasured as a rare piece. This effect is referred to as asterism.

Garnet carat weight

Did you know that in ancient Rome, Garnet gemstones were used in signet rings? Those red gems were favored by the nobility greatly in the Middle era. Garnets are generally available in different sizes and shapes. The rare variety of tsavorite and demantoid is only available in small sizes hence, with the increase in carat size the rate increases drastically. Another variety of garnet, almandines are available in large sizes.

How to buy Garnet Gemstones

Garnet gemstones have always been in great demand. People buy it for themselves or their loved ones. You can gift this to celebrate any special occasion. Gift this special gemstone by recognizing the wearer’s birthday in January. The gemstone itself is a customization to a simple ring.

You need to buy a customized engagement ring then look out for certified dealers who can help in purchasing the best garnet gemstone. One must look at how it reacts under both synthetic as well as natural light. Also, look for saturated color and intense.

The most popular variety of garnet is red and its varieties, but it is also available in the hues of green, blue, pink, and even colorless. You can find that in the market the price goes up for the rare variety of blue and green garnet. To buy the original piece just follow the 4 Cs and for appealing designs look for the cut that produces asterism and affects the value and beauty of the stone.

One thing that you must keep in mind while purchasing the garnet gemstone is that it is known for the rich color and durability. This means that your investment will not fade with time. Apart from adding great emotional value to this gem, this piece can stand the test of time. All you need to do is find the appropriate cut that will reflect the light and spreads it over the surface also. This makes your gem come out in full beauty.

Buying a garnet engagement ring: Is it a good idea?

When it comes to engagement rings, we look for gemstones that can be worn daily and can withstand daily knocks of life. But, the January birthstone Garnet is soft compared to other red stones like ruby and synthetic options. As they have a hardness of 6.5 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale, they tend to get damaged and scratched easily.

Also Read: Understanding the 4C's of Diamonds

Although garnet is not made out for daily wear it is the gemstone that combats the effects of negative energies making it perfect for an engagement ring. And even if you put aside this quality of garnets, they are considered one of the best and desired gemstones available today. And remember that any precious possessions require proper care to assure their lasting quality.

Astral benefits of wearing Garnet

Often referred to as the ‘stone of health’, Garnet is believed to affect ones’ health. It has many health benefits for those wearing the garnet rings. It is known to strengthen the wearer's blood. It revitalizes the person’s energy by improving the energy flow.

It is because of these properties of this gemstone that it is believed to help people succeed in business by turning the crisis of energy into opportunities. Garnet is supposed to redirect negativity to bring calmness to one’s spirit. Wearing a garnet can convert chaotic energy into a clear and harmonious one. This stone has been known to work at the person’s energy by either energizing and activating it or pacifying and calming them. This all depends mainly on the balance and overall health of the person.

Other benefits of wearing garnet:

  • Heightens inspiration and creativity
  • Ignites passion and love
  • Opens the heart
  • Helps in building self-esteem
  • Helps in feeling joy
  • Strengthens trust and faith
  • Improves daily energy levels
  • Improves overall health and energy

The January birthstone garnet is for the people with the Aquarius sun sign. It can also be worn by people with the zodiac sign Capricorn. For those born under the Chinese zodiac sign of Rat, garnet is beneficial for them as well. If you think garnet is the gemstone that will help you improve the energy and help you in achieving goals in life then purchase the stone as a faceted gemstone or a tumbled stone. It is not very expensive, and you can buy it at any jewelry store. Buy garnet from an authentic certified store to get the best jewelry.