As the January birthstone, Garnets often get overlooked. But just like wine, there is a variety for every taste.
I’m an east coast sun loving beach girl with a birthday in January; one of the coldest months of the year in Pennsylvania. As a kid, I never had parties because it was icy, snowed up to our butt-holes and no one wanted to drive. January babies also get gipped on the “great gift” category because our special day comes right after the other special day(s) of Christmas and Hanukkah. Let’s face it. We’re stick a fork in me done after the holidays so who wants to think of having one more celebration.
I got a cool 10 speed bike for my birthday once (ok, I admit, that was a great gift). Unfortunately, I had to wait until March to ride it.
While I can lament about the month, I have always had a fondness of the stone which represents the start of every new year. Garnets.
When you think about a Garnet, I’m sure what comes to mind is the deep burgundy stone that mirrors the best full body Cabernet that has ever graced your lips. But guess what? Garnets actually come in a wide variety of colors. Everything from various shades of red, orange, yellow, purple, green, peach, brown and even black.
Garnets come from many different areas around the world. Bright green Tsavorites from Kenya, orange-yellow Spessartines from Tanzania and traditional reds from Southern California. There’s even a mine in Virginia (that’s on my list to find and visit this year!)
Common shades of red Garnets:
- Almadine: Bright red
- Hessonite: Reddish-orange
- Pyrope: Deep burgundy red.
- Rhodolite: Pink to violet red.
The more rare Garnet are:
- Tsavorite: Medium to dark green in color. Found in the border area of Kenya and Tanzania in only 4 mines.
- Spessarite: Mandarin orange in color due to the manganese and iron content. Found in Nigeria, Mozambique and Namibia.
- Rhodolite: Pink to violet-red in color. Found in Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Zimbabwe
- Demantoid: Olive green to yellow-brown in color. Found in Russia and Nambia. Very rare.
- Color change Garnet: pinkish orange to blue to violet in color. Found in Madagascara, Ceylon, Norway and the United States. Very rare.
- Star Almadine: Dark reddish-purple to orange with a “Cats eye” effect. Found in Brazil, India, United States & Vietnam.
Best yet, it’s said that Garnets (of any shade) have the power to bring the wearer good health, wealth and happiness. They can eliminate feelings of depression, instill self-confidence, creative thinking and peace of mind. A perfect stone to start off your year.
So, the next time you’re thinking about a new piece of jewelry, consider the Garnet. I don’t often carry in-stock Garnet pieces, but custom designs are always available. If you have a traditional red Garnet, lets pair it with one of these bright new shades for a unique re-design.
Don’t forget, Garnets are more than just a tall glass of winter Cabernet but equally as yummy.