Jeffrey M. Bertman
Graduate Gemologist

Garnet, one of the modern recognized birthstones for January, is probably best known for a fiery red color that could warm any winter night. However, not all garnets are deep red. In fact, garnet actually encompasses a family of more than ten different gemstones of similar chemical composition with different names and colors (excluding only blue). Aside from velvet red Almandine garnet, there are also the rarest and most valuable green Demantoid and cinnamoncolored Hessonite, as well as a host of others. All possess excellent hardness, which makes them perfect for everyday wear, all in the family and a high degree of brilliance, which produces nice sparkle. The garnet family is well worth knowing if you have any interest in beautiful colored gemstones. January is the month of the deep burgundy red garnet, a symbol of passion. A gift of garnet is thought to be symbolic of love and the desire for a loved one’s safe travel and speedy homecoming.

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