Bright red juicy garnet is one of my absolute favorite stones to make jewelry with - and it just happens to be the January birthstone! But what is a birthstone and why do we wear birthstone jewelry?
History of Birthstones
Garnet: The January Birthstone
While garnet traditionally brings the color red to mind, garnet can come in red, brown, pink, peach, orange, yellow, and even blue and green! There are several different 'species' of garnet, all categorized by the same crystalline structure and chemical properties, but with a wide range of different colors. Most commonly known types of garnet are actually blends of these different species of garnet and that blend produces their signature colors. Garnet has a Moh's hardness of 6.5-7.5, depending on the type of garnet.
In many cultures the garnet is commonly associated with protection. It was believed that garnets could shield the wearer from harm - Celtic kings would wear garnets as protective talismans. Queen Victoria and Mary Queen of Scots famously wore garnets. Warriors on both sides of the Crusades wore garnets for protection, and even biblical King Solomon wore garnets into battle.
Garnet has also long been associated with the heart, blood, and life force. It is the traditional gift for a second wedding anniversary. It is thought to protect against melancholy, protect the body, awaken blood/passion, and is generally associated with love and friendship.
It is no wonder garnet is a popular stone for jewelry! You can find some of my own Silverthaw Jewelry designs using garnet below: