Garnet is the birthstone for the month of January. The name Garnet is derived from the Latin granum, meaning grain or seed. This is possibly a reference to pomum granatum, or pomegranate, whose seeds share the same vivid deep red color and scale of garnet crystals. This gemstone is available in yellow, orange (spessartite and hessonite), green (tsavorite and demantoid), red-violet (rhodolite), but is most often found in its traditional deep red color, seen here set in the 14k White Gold Satellite Studs. Because this gemstone comes in a variety of colors it is often compared to the corundum family which includes the sapphire and ruby, however the garnet is only 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness while corundum is a more durable material at 9 on the scale.
Garnet was often used in Migration Period art, 300-900 CE where the deep red color of the gemstone was a symbol of Jesus for early Christians of the Roman Empire. The contrast of the deep red garnet with the bright yellow of gold was very pleasing way back then as it is now, such as in our Nesting with Stones Wedding Ring. This combination of materials is thought of as originating from diplomatic gifts likely created in the eastern capital of the Roman Empire, Constantinople, and copied by goldsmiths throughout the Empire.
If you are interested in incorporating garnet - or any other birthstone - in a custom jewelry design project with Rebecca, please do not hesitate to reach out and tell us more about your ideas! The Family Jewelry Collection is a great place to start with designs created to showcase birthstones which commemorate significant times in our lives.