Garnet, the Birthstone of January

Garnet, the Birthstone of January

Garnet, the birthstone for January, comes in a wide range of beautiful colors and is prized for its beauty and durability. Most often, garnets are a reddish color, but they can also be found in glorious greens, oranges, pinks, purples and even some shades of blue. They can be cut in a number of ways and make gorgeous jewelry pieces – many of which you can find on The Pink Pigs!

Garnet history

Garnets have a long and wondrous history, dating back to ancient Egypt. These stones graced the necks of royalty and leaders from Pharaohs to Roman aristocrats. This stone was also commonly used in biblical times (many “carbuncles” were garnets) and it’s possible that a garnet was on Aaron’s breastplate!

During the Middle Ages, red garnets were favorites of many, including members of the clergy and royalty. When deposits of these beautiful stones were found in Bohemia (part of what is now Germany and Czech Republic), a thriving jewelry trade began that thrived for over 300 years, from the 1500s to the 1800s.

Green garnets from the Ural Mountains in Russia were favorites of both the Russian royal family and the famous jeweler Peter Carl Faberge. In the 1960s, a prized green garnet known as Tsavorite was found in Africa and popularized by Tiffany’s. The luminescent green of Tsavorite rivals even emeralds for their brilliant color!

Although garnets were once widely traded, they have become somewhat rare today. The jewelry made with these stones is well-loved by many.

Famous Garnets

Antique Pyrope Hair Comb

“Pyrope” comes from a Greek word, pyropos, which means “fire” – and this is definitely an apt description of the garnets in this famous hair comb!

The garnets used for this piece were taken from the mines in Bohemia. They were rose cut, exemplifying the “fire-like” color and qualities. These beautiful stones were set in a crown-like pattern; this piece was donated to the Smithsonian in 1937.

Where Are Garnets Found Today?

Although many garnets were found in Europe over the past 500 years, most now come from the African continent. Light green demantoid garnets are found in Namibia, while vivid green tsavorites are found in Kenya, Madagascar, and Tanzania. Beautiful orange and yellow spessartine garnets are also found in Namibia and Tanzania.

Garnets are also found in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Brazil, India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan, as well as several other countries. For many years, they were also found in a mining area in California.

Caring for your Garnet Jewelry

Garnets are fairly hard stones, ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale. This means that while they are not as hard as sapphires, rubies, and diamonds, they are still appropriate for daily wear. They are especially good choices for earrings, necklace pendants, and brooches or pins.

It is a good idea to store your jewelry in separate compartments in a jewelry box and case. If garnets are allowed to rub up against harder stones, such as rubies or diamonds, they can be scratched. Likewise, if garnets rub up against softer stones like pearls or opals, those stones can be scratched.

To clean your garnets, simply use a soft brush (like a soft-bristled toothbrush) and soapy water to gently scrub your jewelry. This will keep them looking bright and clean!

Garnet Pieces from The Pink Pigs

Pig Holding Heart Necklace – Garnet

This beautiful necklace has been custom made for our piggy loving friends!  You can choose a silver piggy, gold plated piggy or rose gold plated piggy holding a real demantoid garnet heart!  You decide! 

This necklace is also available with a red or purple CZ heart, but when you choose the garnet, the piggies are a little bigger and the stones are a deeper, more vivid red. With this option, the chain is also adjustable to 16”, 17”, or 18”. The piggy pendants are solid 925 silver plated with either 18K gold or rhodium.

Gorgeous Persian Garnet and Diamond Ring in 10K Solid Gold

The stone in this ring is deeply colored and beautiful! The 3.23ct round-cut red Persian garnet is surrounded by .25 cts of fiery diamonds and set in 10K solid gold. This stunning ring is carried in a size 7, but it can be resized; other sizes are available by special order.

Two Genuine Garnet Bracelets in 925 Sterling Silver

These gorgeous deep red garnet bracelets are sure to please, and they give you plenty of flexibility! You’ll receive two to choose from: one with nearly 11ct of oval-cut garnets and the other with 12.5ct of round-cut garnets, beautifully set and ready to wear. These stunning bracelets are set in 925 Sterling silver, making these fine jewelry pieces durable and affordable.

By purchasing from The Pink Pigs, you are helping us fulfill our passion of making the world a better place! Where you spend your money matters, and we invite you to join us in making a difference. 100% of the proceeds from your purchase will be used to do good things, like helping rescued animals. Thank you for partnering with us!

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