Garnet: The January Birthstone

Garnet, the January birthstone, is an incredibly passionate stone, known as a symbol of peace, health, and deep friendship! Find out more about the Garnet below!


Garnet’s name comes from the Latin word "Garanatus," meaning 'seedlike', in reference to the pomegranate fruit. It has a rich history, being a highly durable stone that has always had popularity. 

Garnets were highly popular in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were especially and frequently used for jewelry in Victorian era England. In Spain,the garnet was a favorite stone of royalty as pomegranates were a specialty of the country. 

Fun Fact: In Spanish astrology, the garnet represents the sun!

There have been many ancient traditions and legends about the garnet as well. In medieval Europe, the stones were thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams, and relieve diseases of the liver. 

In Greek mythology, a pomegranate is referenced as a gift of love and is associated with eternity. The Garnet is symbolic in Greek culture of a quick return and separated love, as Hades gave a pomegranate to Persephone before she left him to ensure her speedy return. The stone may be given to a beloved before embarking on a trip, as it is believed to heal the broken bonds of lovers.


Garnet is quite a durable stone, rating a 7 to 7.5 on the hardness scale. Garnet is actually the name for a family of ten different gems with similar chemical structure that spans a variety of colors, from red to orange to yellow, green, brown, violet, pink, or even black. The main differences between the stones lie in slight variations of color, density, and refractive index.

Garnet is one of the few untreated gems as well, but can often be mistaken for rubies with its deep red color hues. Garnets are relatively common in highly metamorphic rocks. They form under extremely high temperatures and pressure. Garnets are mined in Africa, India, Russia, South America, Madagascar, Pakistan, and the United States.

Special Properties

European folklore creates a strong link between the red garnet and heath. Its virtues have been long believed to include passion, true friendship, and self-esteem. The stone also sharpens your perception of yourself and other people. It is said to inspire contemplation and truthfulness and offers its wearer the power to protect their standing and possessions.

Perhaps the strongest virtue of the garnet is its ability to help with depression. It revitalizes, purifies and balances energy, bringing serenity or passion. It brings on a calming influence and protects the wearer from being affected by negative energy. It strengthens the survival instinct in a crisis, bringing courage and hope. It promotes self-confidence and allows one's inner spirit to radiate.

Final Thoughts

Garnet is an incredibly beautiful gemstone and it is at its highest peak of power during the month of January. Its value carries great weight in ethical mining and uniqueness as well!!

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Have more birthstone questions? Checkout the blog post here!

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JSL Team :)