For those whose birthdays coincide with the dawning of a new year, the garnet has a special significance. The official birthstone of January, this stunning stone serves as a welcome source of warmth during the coldest part of the year. It’s also used to commemorate the second and sixth wedding anniversaries. The garnet has become synonymous with loyalty, friendship, and overall well-being. When traveling, the stone is reputed to provide security and good fortune to the wearer.
Found in metamorphosed and igneous rock formations, garnets are formed by extreme excesses in temperature and pressure applied to the rock. Most commonly associated with a deep red coloring reminiscent of rubies, a traditional garnet makes a festive accompaniment to holiday attire. In addition to standard red, this vivid gemstone is found in a multitude of shades ranging from orange to dark burgundy. The varying shades will also differ in density and light refraction properties. The stone’s appeal can be attributed to its intense colorations, hardness, durability, and transparency, although its abundance makes it less valuable than other, rarer stones.
Garnets have adorned jewelry as far back as the Bronze Age in 3000 BC, when they were often buried to guard over the spirits of the deceased. The luminous stone was also popular during the early Egyptian and Roman times, when explorers carried it along on their journeys to illuminate their paths and protect them from harm. During the Middle Ages, the garnet was thought to have the power to stem bleeding and cure blood disorders.
Below are some of the most common variations of the garnet, along with their defining characteristics:
Almandine: Ranging from deep red to orange red, this stone is mined in Brazil, India, Madagascar, and the U.S.
Demantoid: Found in Italy, Russia, and Zaire, this garnet variation ranges from medium green to yellowish green.
Hessonite: This Sri Lankan stone ranges from bright yellow to yellowish brown. It’s also found in Kenya and Tanzania.
Pyrope: Ranging from deep red to purplish red, this intense garnet is mined primarily in Australia, Czechoslovakia, and South Africa.
Rhodolite: Mined in Sri Lanka and Tanzania, this softer-hued garnet boasts shades of pink or lavender.
Spessartite: Ranging from medium to reddish orange, this garnet variation is found primarily in Brazil, Namibia, Pakistan, and the U.S.
Tsavorite: Found in Kenya near the Tsavo National Park, this rare green garnet was also imported from Tanzania by Tiffany and Company.
Uvarovite: This crystallized green garnet was first found in Russia.
Proof that a rich, warm gemstone can also be affordable, garnets offer a budget-friendly way to add drama and depth to your fine jewelry collection. At Brilliance, we offer a dazzling assortment of genuine gemstone jewelry and engagement rings.