Studio Jewelers - Madison, WI

The Art of Fine Jewelry
January’s Birthstone is Garnet
Check out our Garnet board on Pinterest for more photos and info!

Whitney Robinson’s “Savannah” ring, set with a rhodolite garnet.

Garnet is the traditional birthstone for the month of January. However, red doesn’t have to be your color of choice if you are born in this month. The versatile garnet comes in a virtual rainbow of colors, from the deep red Rhodolite Garnet to the vibrant greens of the Russian Demantoid and African Tsavorite. The oranges and browns of Spessartite and Hessonite hail from Namibia and Sri Lanka, and the subtle pinks and purples of the rhododendron flower are also yours to explore. Rich orange and golden hues, striking greens, petal soft colors of violet and lavender all await your selection.
Ring by Tom Dailing, featuring a spessartite garnet.

The name garnet comes from the Latin "granatus" meaning, like seeds, because garnets in rock look somewhat like seeds in a pomegranate. In the past it was said the wearer of a garnet would be protected in his travels and kept in good health. Garnets have been prized as gems for over 5000 years, use of the gemstone traces its roots to the Nile Delta in 3100 B.C., where Egyptian artisans would craft the gemstone into beads or inlay them into hand-wrought jewelry. In Roman times, Garnet was often used for carving. The stone was especially popular in the 19th Century; the dark red, Victorian garnet jewelry from that era was made from pyrope garnets mined in Bohemia, now a part of Czechoslovakia.
This ring features a beautiful tsavorite garnet.

In addition to the above information from the AGTA and other sources, you can find facts about these of gems and more at the "Gems and Gem Materials" online course, through the University of California-Berkeley's Department of Earth and Planetary Science. The website is available for the general public, and contains a wealth of information for the budding gemologist and anyone interested in learning more about gemstones. Hanna Cook-Wallace has contributed to this site, which was developed by Jill Banfield while teaching at the University of Wisconsin.