Garnet is a gorgeous birthstone for all January babies! This rich red gem is often mistaken for ruby, though it’s a totally different gem family.
Whereas ruby is part of the corundum family (along with sapphire), garnets are a group of silicate minerals. Also included in the garnet party are spessartite and tsavorite (both of which I’ve written about before!)
They come in a huge variety of colors including red, orange, yellow, green, purple, brown, blue, black, pink, and colorless. Red is by far and away the most prevalent, and in gemstones, it’s a glossy, glass-like sheen on these pretty gems!
Garnet is a relatively hard gem, at 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale. They are typically pretty transparent to be jewelry quality (with opaque gems reserved for industrial uses like abrasives and filtering.) As a gem though, it’s been used in jewelry for over 5000 years. Garnets were found in Egyptian burial sites and was the most popular gemstone in ancient Rome. Because of its general availability, beauty, hardness, and affordability, it’s a popular gemstone available usually without any treatment.
According to birthstone zodiac:
Garnet signifies victory, truth, purity, friendship, faith and protection. The January birthstone is said to symbolize happiness, deep and enduring friendships. The stone has been associated with awareness, commitment, insight and regeneration, countering black magic, negative forces and dark energies.