Garnet: The birthstone to kick off 2023

Garnet: The birthstone to kick off 2023

Garnets are beautiful and versatile gemstones, which have been prized throughout history because of their vivid red colour and the stone’s durability. In addition to its beauty and durability, garnet is also a relatively affordable gemstone, making it a great option for those on a budget. It is also a sustainable and ethical choice, as it is often mined in small-scale operations and is not associated with conflict or exploitation.

It is the birthstone for January, and is believed to have a range of symbolic meanings and properties. If you or someone you know is born in January, a piece of garnet jewellery could make a meaningful and thoughtful gift.

A beautiful pyrope garnet ring, pictured by Johanes Minawan Laksana

Johanes Minawan Laksana / Beautiful Pyrope garnet ring

There are actually several different types of garnet, each having their own unique characteristics. The most well-known and popular type of garnet on the market is pyrope garnet, which is known for its deep red colour. They come in a range of shades, from dark red to more purplish red, and are often used in jewellery as a substitute for rubies.

Another popular type of garnet is almandine garnet, which is known for its dark red to purplish red colour. Almandine garnet is a bit harder and more durable than pyrope garnet, and is often used in jewellery that will be worn every day.

Spessartine garnet is a lesser known garnet that can be discerned by its flame orange colour. It is relatively rare and is often used in high-end jewellery pieces.

Garnet earrings, pictured by Minakryn Ruslan

Minakryn Ruslan / Garnet earrings

In addition to the variety of garnets you can find, there is also a great range of cuts and shapes that can be used to fashion the gemstone. Garnet can be cut into a variety of shapes, including round, oval, pear, marquise, and emerald cut. Each cut has its own unique look and can be used to create different visual effects.

When it comes to the birthstone’s symbolic meanings and properties; in ancient times, garnet was believed to have protective powers and was often worn as a talisman to ward off evil spirits. If you wear it today now, most hope that garnets will bring you good fortune, peace and prosperity.

Aside from their metaphysical properties, garnet’s continue to be prized today due to it’s beauty and durability. Because of this, it is a perfect choice for jewellery making. Due to its wonderful colour, it is a popular choice for people who want to make their money go further with their engagement rings, as well as jewellery that is worn as more everyday pieces.

A dark garnet ring made from Almadine garnets, pictured by Paige Johnson

Paige Johnson / Dark garnet ring made from Almadine garnets

If you are indeed looking to buy a piece of garnet jewellery, there are a few things to consider. First, you'll want to think about the type of garnet you want. As mentioned earlier, there are several different types of garnet, each with its own unique characteristics. You'll also want to consider the cut and shape of the gemstone, as well the jewellery setting and the metal that is used to make it.

Garnet is often set in gold or platinum, but you do also find it set in silver or other metals. The setting can affect the overall look of the piece, so it's important to choose a setting that complements the gemstone and your personal style.

As a general point, when shopping for jewellery, it's also important to work with a reputable seller. Whether you are looking for a piece of garnet jewellery for January or for an engagement ring; you should be searching for somewhere that has a good reputation and is transparent about their prices and the quality of their products. It's also a good idea to ask about the return policy and any warranties or guarantees that come with the jewellery you're purchasing.

Garnet necklace, by Minakryn Ruslan

Minakryn Ruslan / Garnet necklace

Once you have bought a piece of garnet jewellery, it is important to take care of it. When doing this, you should prioritise handling it gently and store it properly. Avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals or extreme temperatures, and store it separately from other gemstones to prevent scratching. It's also a good idea to have your garnet jewellery professionally cleaned and inspected regularly to ensure that it is in good condition.

In conclusion, garnet is a beautiful and versatile gemstone that is perfect for a wide range of jewellery styles. Whether you're looking for a statement piece for a special occasion or a more casual everyday piece, garnet has something to offer. With its rich, red colour and durable properties, garnet is a gemstone that is sure to be treasured for years to come.

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