January Birthstones: Garnets Have Been Popular For Thousands Of Years

January 01, 2021

January Birthstones: Garnets Have Been Popular For Thousands Of Years

When most people think about the garnet, a deep red stone is the first thing that comes to mind. It’s no surprise, then, that they’ve long been symbols of love and are associated with inner fire and life force. They’ve been popular gemstones in jewelry for generations, and now with the discovery of new species of garnet, they’re enjoying a resurgence in popularity (not just as the January birthstone).


While it’s commonly associated with shades of dark red, garnet comes in a multitude of colors from green, blue, colorless, to a rare version that changes color in different light.

New York lists garnet as the official gemstone of the state. Connecticut, Idaho, and Vermont also list species of garnet as the state gemstone.

Pure forms of garnet don’t exist in nature – they’re always a blend of several species of garnet – with about 80 percent purity being standard, though some have been found as high as 95 percent pure.


Garnet stones have been found all over the world – in Wyoming in the United States, in Greece in the Mediterranean, in Madagascar in East Africa, Russia in Europe, and India in Asia.

The name garnet comes to us from the word gernet, a 14th century Middle English word which means deep red. Originally, it derived from granatum in Latin, which meant seed – because the gem resembled the red seeds of a pomegranate.

Garnet has been a popular gem used in jewelry for a long time. Jewelry has been found from as far back as the Bronze Age – 3000 to 1200 BCE – with some references by the Egyptians in 3100 BCE. The Romans used garnet gems in signet rings, and it was popular among the nobility during the Middle Ages.


It’s best to clean your garnet with warm water, a detergent, and a soft brush. A garnet can be sensitive to heat despite its moderate durability – it checks in at 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale – so it’s best to avoid exposing your jewelry to extreme heat.

When you’re not wearing your garnet jewelry, be sure to store in in an individual padded box or soft pouch.


Garnets are a long-lasting gemstone that is likely to be in your family for generations. With garnet, you can show someone you love that your feelings are as every lasting as the January birthstone jewelry you purchased for them.

At Peter Franklin, our customer experience professionals can help you select the January birthstone jewelry that matches your loved one’s taste and lifestyle. Visit our three locations in NE Indiana in Angola, New Haven and Fort Wayne, and browse our selection of garnet jewelry online.