January may often be associated with a fresh, new start, but the birthstone for this month is anything but new: the garnet has been prized for thousands of years—some say as long as five millennia! As long ago as the Bronze Age this gem was used in jewelry, and the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans were all fans. Garnet jewelry has proven its beauty over and over, and it’s a surefire pick when you’re in search of a style with lasting appeal.
The saturated crimson hue of the garnet is deep and warm, calling to mind the hue of a red rose in bloom. However, it’s likely that its color was once likened not to a rose, but to the seeds of a pomegranate. The word “garnet” is believed to have come from the Latin word “granatus,” which means pomegranate—likely due to the fact that the garnet’s red tone is similar to that of the seeds of this ancient fruit. Another possibility is that “garnet” comes from “granus” (a word meaning grain) due to its naturally round shape. Either way, this gemstone has a color that’s undeniably rich and a sparkle that draws the eye.
The Cushion-Cut Garnet and Diamond Ring in 14K White Gold gorgeously showcases the rich color of the garnet, and gives it a little boost thanks to the contrast provided by .30 carats of accent diamonds. A 6mm (1.30 carat) garnet serves as the focal point of this timelessly elegant style, immediately drawing the eye from the center of a frame of diamonds. The slender 14K white gold band is studded with additional diamonds for extra sparkle. Like all garnet and diamond rings, the contrast between deep red glimmer and colorless dazzle makes the garnet seem even more vivid.
The timeless look of the garnet makes it an excellent pick for vintage styles such as the Enchanted Garnet Ring in 14K White Gold. This Victorian-inspired ring surrounds a 4mm round garnet with a meticulously-crafted motif of swirls and openwork.
If you’d rather a contemporary garnet style that’s sure to stand out from the crowd, don’t miss the 14K Rose Gold Mozambique Garnet Gemstone Ring! This unique piece features a 6.5mm bezel-set round garnet and accents it with nearly a quarter carat of diamonds. The crimson center stone is hugged by two sweeping arcs of channel-set diamonds that rise up on each side to create elegant ribbons of sparkle; additional diamonds glitter from the slender band of gleaming rose gold.
The color red has long been associated with matters of the heart, making garnet rings a more than fitting way to express affection. The Heart Shaped Garnet and Diamond Ring in 14K Yellow Gold is a striking way to express love as it showcases a 10mm heart-shaped garnet in a sweeping yellow gold setting that evokes the sweeping nature of romance. Five small round diamonds add subtle touches of colorless sparkle to an otherwise daring style.
Garnet is an excellent way to say “I love you,” not only on an anniversary or birthday, but also when popping that big question. Garnet engagement rings use the color of affection to declare your commitment and symbolize that your one special someone has captured your heart.
For instance, the 8mmx 6mm Emerald Cut Garnet Solitaire Ring in 14K White Gold makes your love evident thanks to a simple yet striking style that will be a gorgeous pick no matter how many decades pass. This classic style puts a single, rectangular-shaped garnet on display, holding it in a four-prong setting as it rises above a gleaming band of solid 14k white gold.
Despite its rich color, garnet jewelry is relatively affordable! As a semiprecious gemstone, it offers significant savings when compared to the other popular red gemstone, the ruby. Silver garnet rings are wallet-friendly options that don’t sacrifice an ounce of style. For instance, the Victorian Emerald-Cut Garnet Ring in .925 Sterling Silver features a sizeable emerald-cut garnet, a full centimeter high, and surrounds it with a silver setting that calls to mind a vintage picture frame. But, while this ring is full of saturated color and drama, it also has a surprisingly wallet-friendly price tag.
It’s not surprising that the garnet serves as the birthstone for the month of January: its rich color is the perfect antidote for the winter doldrums and is perfect for infusing a little zing into your look on even the grayest of days—regardless of when your birthday falls! Of course, the fact that garnet jewelry is an especially thoughtful gift for anyone born in January shouldn’t be ignored, and a pair of garnet earrings would make a lovely present for a special someone born in the first month of the year.
For example, the Garnet Stud Earrings in 14K Yellow Gold would be a much-appreciated addition to neatly any lady’s jewelry collection. This simple but eye-catching pair showcases round garnets in your choice of size (6mm, 7mm or 8mm) in timeless basket settings and is secured with your pick of push backs or screw backs. Go with this warm yellow gold setting or choose a similar pair set in white gold or platinum for a touch of cool shine.
For a pair of garnet earrings with a bit more movement, try the Antiqued Filigree Garnet Earrings in Sterling Silver. This dangling pair surrounds two half-inch-wide oval-shaped garnets with a lively curling design of sterling silver. An antiqued finish gives this gracefully-curving motif an aged look that makes the details pop. This airy pair slips on effortlessly thanks to fishhook-style posts.
Garnet pendants also make excellent gifts and the Garnet Heart Clover Pendant in 14K White Gold is a solid pick. This unique piece creates a four-leaf clover from a quartet of 6mm heart-shaped garnets, and includes a 14K white gold chain so it’s ready to wear the minute it’s unwrapped.
Whether you choose it for its time-tested beauty, its saturated color or its affordability, the garnet isn’t just for January! Garnet jewelry is gorgeous at any time of the year.