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The January Birthstone - Garnet

January 2021 | Nellie Theroux

Garnet is said to bring good health, happiness, and prosperity.


Fortunate January babies enjoy this beautiful and lucky gem as their birthstone. Garnet’s name derives from the Latin word for pomegranate and much like the juicy fruit, garnets are commonly a rich red. However, garnet's color pallet is quite diverse and can be found in varieties of orange, yellow, purple, vibrant green or brown – really any color except blue. 

Our favorite type of garnet is called Bohemian Garnet. It was popular in Victorian era jewelry and was highly prized for its wine-red hue. Bohemia, which is in modern-day Czech Republic, was the primary source for these fiery red garnets. The mine only produced a limited amount of this sought-after gemstone and today, Bohemian Garnet jewelry is exceedingly rare and collectable.

Depending on the type, garnet is a 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. What is the Mohs scale, you ask? When it comes to determining the hardness of a stone, we look to the Mohs hardness scale. Every mineral is rated on a scale of 1-10, 10 being a diamond which is the hardest natural element on earth. Dust is a 7 on the hardness scale, so any gem that is a 7 or less will experience tiny scratches causing surface abrasion and dullness if not properly cared for. So, how does garnet hold up? Softer varieties, such as demantoid, will be more susceptible to scratches than harder varieties, like tsavorite. 

Garnet has fair to good toughness, which is used to measure durability. While hardness tells you how resistant the stone is to scratches, toughness tells you how resistant it  is to cracks and chips. We recommend garnet for earrings, necklaces and bracelets. We love garnet rings too, but just make sure to wear them with a little more care.