January Birthstone

January is the year's first month, the start of a new chapter, and the month marked by cold breezes and cozy beds. It is a month of friendship, passion, and ambition, as is its birthstone, the garnet, representing love and friendship. Many people think that January has two birthstones; garnet and emerald. Nevertheless, a plethora of astrological data supports garnet as the only January birthstone. The following description is about the January birthstone, its meaning, symbolism, history, mythology, characteristics, and types. Discover the credible facts here. 

Garnet Birthstone Meaning:

Due to the resemblance of the red color to pomegranates, the term "garnet" is derived from the middle ages Latin ‘granatus,’ which means "pomegranate." Later, garnets in several other hues like orange, yellow, purple, and green were discovered. There are several folklores associated with the symbolism and spiritual meaning of garnet. In ancient times, people believed that garnet was a symbol of love and friendship and protected against enemies and illnesses.

Roman soldiers wore garnets before battle during the third and fourth centuries to protect and safeguard against enemies. Garnet stone was believed to guarantee security throughout lengthy voyages. Moreover, American physicians believed garnet could endure poison and injury, while ancient Egyptians believed it could treat sadness and fight off unpleasant dreams.

Also, biblical lore claims that Noah utilized a garnet gem as a light source on his Ark.

In Medieval times, it was also thought that garnet had anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Many physicians used it to cure dyspepsia and sore throat. However, in the modern era, it is known that garnet stimulates loyalty and strengthens affection. Moreover, it promotes the progress and prosperity of the wearer. Genuinely, red garnets are an emblem of love that absorbs negative energies and anger. Garnets in other hues have distinct meanings discussed in the section ‘Types of Garnets.’


Garnet has been used since the Bronze Age, making it one of the earliest gems ever discovered. Pharaoh's tombs have been found with garnet pendants and talismans, inscribed rings or stones believed to have magical properties, and welcome good luck. Moreover, it remained popular in the Victorian era as a precious gemstone with excellent brilliance and sparkle. Now it is classified in a semi-precious category according to the commercial jewelry market. Garnets in different hues and shapes are used in making earrings, rings, necklaces, and crowns.


Garnets were found in metamorphic rocks where the minerals crystallize under high pressure and heat. They are also found in igneous and sedimentary rocks in different geographical regions. In the Victorian era, red garnets were mined from Bohemia. Nevertheless, today Africa is the biggest supplier of garnets across the World. Moreover, Namibia and Tanzania are rich in green, orange, and yellow garnets. Other supplying locations include Afghanistan, India, Pakistan, Iran, Brazil, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka.

Types Of Garnets:

Garnets can be categorized based on color and composition.

Based on Colors:

Rhodolite Garnet:

Rhodolite garnet comes from the Greek ‘Rose Stone,’ referring to the gems' unusual brilliance and exquisite deep red to dark pink hues. Rhodolite garnets also come in dark purplish to violet shades-the tones of a natural rose. Its rich and primary source is the Umba river valley at the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Pink and purple garnets resemble the shades of methylated spirits, hence their name "spirit colors." It promotes generosity, empathy, and love. Moreover, rhodolite garnet is a trustworthy gemstone that brings inspiration and optimism.


The hues of tsavorite range from a pale yellow-green to a dark and deep forest green. Its radiance is exceptionally outstanding and unmatched compared to other green gems. They are currently one of the most fashionable garnets on the gem market. Tsavorite is an emblem of generosity, fortitude, affluence, vitality, and assurance. It is considered to guide one to his purpose and assist in discovering one's true confidence. As a result, it reduces tension,  enhances vision and insight, and an understanding of affection and compassion for your mate.

Malaya Garnet:

Malaya Garnet was accidentally discovered during the mining of rhodolite garnet. It was not recognized as a type of garnet because of variations in hue. Later it was named and acknowledged as an exquisite garnet in stunning orange and reddish shades. It is a beautiful gemstone with excellent radiance and luminosity. Malaya garnet is a joyful and generous gem that promotes happiness, companionship, enjoyment, and family unity. It encourages intimacy, love, and togetherness.

Color Changing Garnet:

The Color Changing garnet is among the rarest and most spectacular gems. Indeed a  magnificent jewel that shifts hue depending on the light source, going green to red. Even though they don't exhibit a complete shade change, they are called color-shift garnets.

Based on Composition:


This garnet gem is bright red in hue and is frequently used in making jewelry articles.


It comes in deep red to brownish-black hue.


It is in many colors, like green, red, brown, and yellow.


Mostly, spessartine garnets are discovered as bright orange gemstones.


Grossular garnet is found chiefly green to lime green, yet a few may occur in brown and red tones.


Uvarovite is a very rare garnet gemstone in a bright green shade.

Healing Properties:

Garnet revitalizes, cleanses, and balances vitality, providing calmness or passion depending on the situation. It encourages loyalty and affection. Moreover, garnet soothes psychological discord and regulates sex desire. It inspires bravery and optimism by igniting and strengthening instincts. Garnet is an excellent remedy for spinal and cellular injuries when considering physical healing. It regenerates DNA, purifies blood, and strengthens the heart and lungs. Also, it strengthens and fortifies the immune system.

The Care Guide:

Keep garnets away from other hard gems like diamonds or sapphires in your jewelry drawer. When cleaning them, avoid any brush or scrubber. Only use warm water and mild soap to wash your rings and earrings. Ultrasonic cleaners are the best in case your gemstone is not fractured.


Does January Have Two Birthstones?

Some people consider that January has two birthstones, namely emerald, and garnet. Nevertheless, much of the astrological data supports garnet as the only birthstone of January.

Is Garnet A Lucky Stone?

Garnet is considered a lucky stone since it brings prosperity and success. It promotes inspiration and confidence in the wearer.

Is Garnet Rare?

Demantoid garnet is the rarest of all with its unique brilliance and cherry red hue.

Can I Wear Garnet Jewelry Every Day?

It's safe to wear garnet jewelry every day. Nevertheless, follow the care steps to avoid scratching your gem.

Taking It All In:

Garnet is a beautiful semi-precious gemstone and a birthstone of January. So the people born this month can wear garnet every day for all the healing powers described above. Garnets mostly come in pomegranate red hues, and there are several shades of garnets, each with unique brilliance and healing energy. You can look at the types of garnets to opt for the best gemstone for you.

Written by Zahid Adnan
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