January Birthstone: Garnet
Garnet, the birthstone for January is also the traditional gift for second wedding anniversaries. Garnet is often thought of as red, however they are available in almost every color.
Garnet is a group of complex silicate minerals exhibiting similar crystal structure and physical properties but differing in chemical makeup.
The major species are Almandine, Andradite Grossular (Tsavorite and Hessionite) Pyrope and Uvarovite. There are many more varieties which are combinations of two or more of the six major varieties.
- Pyrope is usually vivid red to deep red. Rhodolite, a combination of Pyrope and Almandine, is light to dark purplish pink.
- Almandine is dark red to brownish red.
- Andradite is yellow to brown. The green variety is called Demantoid.
- Grossular is yellow orange to brown. The green variety is Tsavorite.
- Spessartite is reddish brown to orange.
- Uvarovite is green.
Phenomena may occur as four ray and six ray stars and color change garnets.
Garnets have a scratch hardness of 6.5 to 7.5 and require no treatment to enhance them other than polishing.
Do not steam or ultrasonic Demantoid, Andradite or Star Stones.
When purchasing choose stones with the most appealing overall appearance to the unaided eye. Then examine under 10x magnification to look for any durability issues.
Garnet has traditionally signified faith, truth and loyalty and are believed to brighten the disposition of those who wear them.