At Copeland Jewelers, we’re all about gemstones and the history behind their folklore. As a local jewelry store in Austin, we get a lot of questions about what specific gemstones mean and the history behind each birthstone. For this month, we are celebrating the birthstone of January.
What is the January Birthstone?
The birthstone for January is garnet. Garnet stone is a 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness with a transparent to opaque coloring. Garnet is not only found in many rich and deeply beautiful colors, but it is also used commercially due to its sturdy properties. In the US, beyond being a gemstone used in jewelry, it is commonly used for filtration, abrasive coating, grinding, and abrasive air blasting. Now that shows how sturdy this gemstone can be.
What is the ‘Meaning’ Behind the January Birthstone?
The name “garnet” is derived from the word “granatum” which means “seed,” because the January birthstone’s color is similar to that of the deep, burgundy-red color of the pomegranate seed.
What is the Color of Garnet?
The January birthstone actually comes in a wide variety of colors. Though most popularly recognized and described as a deep red, garnet can actually come in purple, green, yellow, brown, orange, brown, and other various shades of red.
Where Does Garnet Come From?
Garnet is a true gemstone of the world, with types of garnet found in different locations all over the globe.
The ever-popular deep-red garnet, known as pyrope, is found in Sri Lanka, South Africa, China, Madagascar, and even right here in the United States.
The orange-colored variety of garnet, called Spessartine, is an orange colored garnet found in Brazil, Tanzania, Kenya, Sri Lanka, and also in the United States. The spessartine, with the richest color, comes from Namibia.
A very popular variety of garnet used in jewelry is almandine, a type of garnet that has a reddish-brown to even black hue. It is found in Brazil, Sri Lanka, the US, and India most commonly.
The least common garnet has a red-brown, an sometimes orange and black streaked color, called andradite. It can be found in Switzerland, Germany, Italy, France, and again, right here in the United States.
What are the Healing Powers of the Garnet Stone?
The folklore behind birthstone of January, the beautiful garnet stone, is believed to be a stone that has the power to strengthen relationships and trust, as well as promote health and regeneration. Garnet has previously been balance energy, inspire love, and cure inflammatory diseases as well as protect those that wear it from poison or even nightmares.
What is the History behind Garnet, the January Birthstone?
Garnet has long been used in jewelry, dating back to 3100 BV in ancient Egypt, Sumeria around 2100 BC, and popularly in the Victorian era of the 18th and 19th century.
What is the Best Way to Care for Garnet Jewelry?
Garnet is a very durable stone, making it a perfect stone for every-day use jewelry. Though it is an incredibly durable stone, garnet should not come in contact with extreme temperatures or chemicals. To clean your garnet jewelry, you can use a mild soap and water or be taken to your local Austin jewelry store for a professional cleaning so that you do not accidentally damage the stone by using improper washing techniques.
What is the Value of a Garnet Stone?
The value of a garnet stone depends on a number of factors including garnet color, type of garnet, size, and clarity of the stone. If you need a garnet jewelry appraisal in Austin, Texas, visit our jewelry store in Austin, Texas for a professional appraisal.
Fun Fact: Did you know the largest garnet crystal was found in New York City underneath a Subway? Known as the “Sewer” or “Subway” garnet, the stone is currently in the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.
Copeland Jewelers is a jewelry store in Austin, Texas specializing in designer jewelry, custom jewelry, estate & vintage jewelry, and professional appraisals and jewelry cleaning in Austin, Texas.