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January’s Birthstone: Garnet

By Mike Fried,

Garnets are beautiful gemstones that have been loved and celebrated for millenia with a rich history. They symbolize light, vitality, courage and power. Throughout history they have adorned the necks of kings and queens and been worn for protection by warriors riding into battle.

While garnets can be found in almost any color, the most recognizable and popular is the red garnet.

Heart-Shaped Garnet and Diamond Pendant
Heart-Shaped Garnet and Diamond Pendant from Blue Nile

History and Symbolism

Beloved and traded by people all around the world since the Bronze Age, the garnet was once the world’s most widely traded gemstone. In fact, the garnet is considered one of the oldest gemstones on record. Garnets have traveled the trade routes of the Roman Empire and encircled the necks of mummified pharaohs in Egypt. The Greeks and Romans made signet rings with garnets, used to sign and seal important documents. Garnets also have religious significance in some traditions. According to Jewish tradition, garnets were worn by King Solomon when he rode into battle. Garnets have been worn by warriors of many many creeds and countries for protection and courage, from Saxon and Celtic kings to muslim and christian soldiers in the crusades. But warriors were not the only ones who trusted in the protective powers of this precious stone- Native American healers also believed that garnets had the power to protect people from poison and injury.

Garnet Birthstone Gift Ideas

There are many occasions when you might want to give a gemstone jewelry gift, such as a birthday, anniversary, graduation, or a special celebration such as a bat mitzvah or first communion. Birthstone gifts can also be given on holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day, and Mother’s Day.

If you’re looking for a garnet gift for someone you love, there are many options to choose from. The traditional birthstone of January is the red garnet, but even red garnets come in a wide variety of hues, ranging from bright red to deep burgundy, like this incredible three stone rhodolite garnet ring from Blue Nile.

Three Stone Rhodolite Garnet Ring
Three Stone Rhodolite Garnet Ring from Blue Nile

There are many beautiful jewelry options that feature garnets. Garnets have a unique fiery glow, and can make for spectacular jewelry. When selecting gemstone jewelry for a loved one, keep in mind their day to day style and personality to help you choose a gift that will be truly cherished. 

One thing to consider when shopping for garnet jewelry is that garnets rank from 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, meaning they are not as durable as other stones, such as diamonds. While they are still suitably durable for all kinds of jewelry, a garnet ring or bracelet may run more risk of being scratched in day to day wear than other types of jewelry that are not worn on the hands, like earrings or necklaces.

Rings

Gemstone rings have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, and garnets make beautiful centerpieces. This garnet oval and diamond birthstone ring from James Allen is both youthful and classy. With a petite center stone and delicate diamond details, it would make a great gift for someone with a more minimalistic sense of style.

If the one you love is a lover of all things vintage, this vintage inspired garnet ring with a pink tourmaline and diamond halo is perfectly unique.

While garnets are often set in yellow gold, there are great options for every style and preference. For someone who prefers a modern look, opt for a garnet with a clean, simple white gold setting for a contemporary look. 

Dainty Garnet gemstone ring in yellow gold
Dainty Garnet gemstone ring in yellow gold from James Allen

Pendants and Necklaces

Pendants are extremely popular birthstone jewelry gifts. A simple pendant really lets the gemstone shine, which makes it the perfect way to showcase a birthstone. Plus, necklaces are easy to wear. Garnets look particularly nice, like this classic garnet birthstone necklace from James Allen. A beautiful garnet pendant would make a perfect graduation gift or birthday present for a loved one.

You can also purchase a pendant as part of a set, like this cushion cut pendant that has a matching pair of cushion cut earrings.  A matching set like this makes a wonderful gift for a special occasion like a big anniversary, but you might also choose to purchase pieces from the same set to give on different occasions- for example, you could give the necklace for a birthday, and the earrings for valentines day, etc. This is an especially good idea if the person you are shopping for has a birthday that is close to another holiday or special occasion, like if your significant other’s birthday falls just before or after Christmas or your anniversary. 

Garnet matching jewelry
Garnet matching jewelry from Blue Nile

Bracelets

Bracelets are good gifts for practically anyone. A garnet bracelet like this garnet line bracelet from James Allen would make a gorgeous birthstone gift for any occasion. Gemstone bracelets can be worn daily or saved for special occasions. There are many options out there in different styles and metals for everyone to find what they like.

Garnet Line Bracelet
Garnet Line Bracelet

Earrings

Earrings come in many shapes, sizes and styles, making it easy to choose a pair that reflects the style and unique personality of the one you love. When it comes to earrings, there is truly something for everyone. If you are purchasing garnet jewelry for someone who doesn’t usually wear red or bright colors, earrings are a great understated gift. For someone who likes classic pieces best, a pair of studs like these oval garnet and diamond earrings are sure to impress. Or, if you’re searching for something that will really stand out, these cushion cut diamond halo garnet earrings have just the right amount of retro elegance and personality, featuring fire opal and citrine as well as garnet.

Cushion Cut Garnet and Diamond Drop Earrings
Cushion Cut Garnet and Diamond Drop Earrings from Blue Nile

As always, we recommend purchasing birthstone jewelry from a reputable vendor like James Allen or Blue Nile to ensure the best quality and value for your money.

James Allen James Allen is the leader in online diamond sales. Their imaging technology is the same as inspecting a diamond with a jeweler's loupe. They have the largest exclusive loose diamond inventory online and fantastic prices. They also have the nicest collection of lab created diamonds online. For a limited time Save 25% during James Allen Valentine's Day!
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Blue Nile Blue Nile is the largest and most well known internet jewelry seller. They have a very large exclusive online inventory. Their high quality images are catching up to James Allens' and their prices are amazing. Blue Nile have generously offered our readers an exclusive one-time use coupon. (Click Here to save $100 off $1000 purchase)

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What we love about them:
  • No questions asked returns within 30 days of shipment. Blue Nile will send you a paid shipping label to return the ring.
  • Lifetime Warranty
  • Free Shipping
  • Free prong tightening, repolishing, rhodium plating and cleaning every 6 months
  • Provide insurance appraisal
  • One free resizing within the first year of purchase
  • High quality images of about half of their diamonds
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