Modern Birthstone for January is Garnet - Natural Garnet Birthstones
Garnet, the birthstone of January, is mined in a rainbow of colors. From the fiery orange of Mandarin Garnet to the rich green of Tsavorite Garnet, it is considered a great gift to symbolize friendship and trust. While you can find it in a variety of colors, the birthstone is most widely associated with dark red or deep brown colors, and the name of the stone has Latin roots that reference the seed of a pomegranate, which is a similar color. The garnet has a unique crystal structure known as the rhombic dodecahedron, a twelve-sided shape with diamond-shaped faces. No other gemstone has as individual a crystal structure as the garnet.
Garnet is also a legendary precious stone. In Egypt, archaeologists have discovered garnet amulets in the tombs of pharaohs. In Rome, it was typical for noble patriarchs to have carved signet rings made from garnet. Ancient Persians only allowed their kings to own and wear garnets. During the Roman Empire people believed garnets protected travellers. If a garnet sparkled, it was a warning of approaching danger. The ancient Chinese said that a red garnet represented a tiger’s soul that had transformed into a precious gem after the animal’s death. Navajo Indians in Utah, USA, used garnets as adornments to bring luck and protection.
Red garnet is an affordable and beautiful gemstone. It naturally occurs as big, clear crystals. So its a good choice for showstopping jewelry pieces. If garnet is your birthstone, it will hold special significance for you and is worth including in your jewelry collection.