What is the January Birthstone?

I hope you had a happy, safe and healthy holiday season!

As we finally close the doors on 2020, it’s time to celebrate those January babies out there!

The birthstone for January is garnet, a gemstone that has enjoyed a rich history in jewelry. 

Before we get into the details of this popular gemstone, let’s get to know a little more about our friends born in January. 

What Are Traits of People Born in January?

Depending on when the day lands, the zodiac sign for January babies is either the fire sign Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19) which are said to be responsible, disciplined, self-controlled, and reserved, or the air sign of Aquarius (Jan 20- Feb 18).  Those born under the sign of Aquarius are thought to be emotionally intuitive, uniquely empathetic,  and gifted at bringing unity to opposing sides. 

Another unique trait of those born under the sign of Aquarius? They may be more likely to become famous!

Although they are often very chill and have a relaxed demeanor, they are known to be very motivated, driven, and have an uncanny ability to think outside the box when it comes to problem solving.

Given those January babies  in your life are such unique individuals, a beautiful gift featuring their birthstone is a thoughtful way to show your love and appreciation when their birthday rolls around. 

Let’s take a closer look at this popular gemstone.

Where is Garnet Found?

Garnet resources are abundant in nature, and can be found in every corner of the globe. Said to promote peace, prosperity and health, garnets are the perfect birthstone for the first month of every New Year, don’t you think?

Not only is garnet abundant on the planet, there are also several varieties. You may be surprised to find out that they are available in a wide range in color from orange to red to green to purple. The only color you won’t find in a garnet? Blue!

Another characteristic that is rather unique to garnets?

The colors you will find in garnets will always be natural. 

This is so unique because many gems are enhanced in some way to create more vibrant shades, either through heat or irradiation treatments. 

But garnets? They’re an exception. 

It’s not for lack of trying. Turns out, these processes just don’t seem to work on garnets, so there’s no point in doing it.

As a result, garnets always showcase their natural colors. 


Model wearing Zurina Ketola Designs Infinity Garnet Y-Necklce and Garnet and Zircon Triplet Bracelets.
Infinite Garnet Necklace. Lariat Style + Triplet Garnet Bangle

What is the Most Popular Garnet Found in Jewelry?

The most popular garnet found in jewelry is alamandine, which is likely what you’re most familiar with when it comes to garnets in jewelry. It’s sometimes confused with ruby, as they both have a red hue.

When you look a little closer however, you’ll notice that rubies tend to have a lighter and brighter red and may be more pinkish.

Garnets on the other hand, tend towards a deeper shade of red with somewhat purple undertones. I associate garnets more with the color of a red wine, or the juicy edible seeds of the pomegranate fruit.

Of course, I’m not the only one that thinks of pomegranate when it comes to this deep red stone.

The name garnet itself is derived from the Latin word, “granatum” or “granatus”  which was used by Romans to describe the unique seeded fruits. 

Garnet has a rich history as a protective stone, and has been used in jewelry since ancient times. In fact, the first piece of garnet jewelry we know of is a necklace that was discovered in an Egyptian tomb dating back to 3800 BC.

More recently, garnet in jewelry became popularized during the Victorian era.

In addition to almandine garnet demi-fine jewelry options, I also use black garnet in my work, as seen below.

Zurina Ketola Designs super fine quality AAA black garnet drop earrings in 14K rose gold fill on white background
Black Garnet Drops in 14K Rose Gold Fill

Tips on Garnet Wear and Care

It’s important to note that garnet gemstones are a little softer than some stones including diamonds, sapphires, and rubies, while they are harder than other stones including opals and pearls.

With this in mind, it’s always best to wear your garnet jewelry mindfully. Make sure your jewelry isn’t so overloaded on your neck of wrists that you can scratch the gemstones in your jewelry.

When you’re garnet jewelry isn’t in use, keep it stored in such a way that the stones aren’t touching, as this can lead to scratching on their surface.  For example, hang necklaces on a necklace stand, or keep things organized in a jewelry box. If you don’t have adequate space, you can always wrap your jewels in a scarf, or in the case of my jewelry, the small plastic bags they come packed in also work. This is especially useful if you have plated or silver jewelry, as it helps keep your jewelry from tarnishing.

When you’re looking to clean your garnet jewelry, it’s important to know what metals your stones are paired with and clean accordingly. Here’s a helpful guide on the metals I use in my jewelry, and how each type should be cleaned and cared for.

As always, I’ve collected a beautiful collection of garnet beads in my time, and am always available to create a custom jewelry design. If you’d like a custom garnet design, don’t hesitate to contact me.

Questions or Comments About the January Birthstone?

So tell me, are you a January a baby, or do you have friends or family with January birthdays? Do you find the zodiac info to be accurate in describing them?

And what do you think – were you surprised to find out that there are so many different colors available? What are your favorites?

Share your answers in the comments, and let me know if you have any questions for me.

To shop the collection of garnet demi-fine jewelry, click here.

Until next time take care and be well. And of course, Happy New Year!


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