Steven DiFranco Jewelers

January Birthstone - Garnet


Garnet received its name from the Latin word for pomegranate, "granatum", because crystals in rock reminded early scientists of pomegranate seeds.  The Persians considered garnet a royal stone, and primitive cultures believed garnets could be used to stop bleeding and cure inflammation.  Asian and North American tribes used garnets as bullets, believing the stone would inflict fatal wounds.

Garnet occurs in all colors with the exception of blue, and all garnets-not just red-are birthstones for the month of January. Of the many types of garnets, the most familiar are pyrope, almandite, rhodolite, spessartite and tsavorite.

  • Specific Gravity: 3.6

  • Refractive Index: 1.75

  • Hardness: 7.75

  • Color: Reddish Purple, and brilliant green for tsavorite garnets

  • Countries of Origin: Burma, China, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States.

  • Wedding Anniversary Gift: 2nd-Garnet, 5th-Rhodolite Garnet, 12th-Tsavorite Garnet

Wearing Conditions: Garnets require very little in the way of special care. They may require re-polishing, but only after several years of normal wear.

Cleaning Conditions: Ultrasonic or store bought cleaners have no effect on garnets.