There are few things we love more than a sparkling gem perfectly set to catch the light. These gems were created thousands of years ago in tumultuous circumstances and now brought to life and to bring joy and beauty, remind us that even in the direst circumstances there is hope for a brighter future. What better way to celebrate the new year than with a little sparkle and a spattering of colour? January’s birthstone is the exquisite, yet often under rated Garnet.
The word Garnet comes from “granatum” which means seed. The stone was named this as its colour closely resembles juicy red pomegranate seeds.
Medieval Garnet Beliefs and Settings
In medieval times the Garnet was believed to build strength and guard against depression and while January is certainly a month of new beginnings, the cold and darkest part of winter needs a little brightening with the deep red tones of a Garnet.
Traditionally Garnet’s were used in Medieval times in rings set in yellow gold or silver with Celtic Knot work. We really like the contrast in colour that Garnet’s bring when paired with white gold and set in traditional Celtic designs. A small nod to our ancient past.
Alan Ireland Mine
Although Garnet’s were originally found in Asia and Russia, Alan Ireland’s Garnet mine in the Thackaringa District, Australia, opened in in 1960 and has been producing high quality Garnets ever since.
Although the traditional colour of the Garnet is a deep juicy red, Garnet’s come in a wide variety of colours from an intense lime green to yellow, orange and even purple are all colours found in the Garnet family. This makes for a delightful selection of gems to suit any personality. Whether for a January bride, or a January Christening, Garnet’s are a lovely choice.
At Martin Gear Jewellers we’re particularly partial to using Garnet’s within unusual setting inspired by Celtic design. Some of our favourite settings include:
- Celtic knot white gold chains woven together with a spattering of garnets to highlight the design.
- A white gold geometric knot pendant with Garnets as focal points within the piece.
- Men’s rings with Garnet’s used as a central focal point
- Garnet’s and pearls really complement each other and look amazing in a necklace and earrings set.
Caring for your Garnet
As with all jewellery, proper care will ensure that your Garnet piece could remain in your family for future generations to enjoy.
When caring for your Garnet jewellery keep in mind that Garnet’s rate at 7,5 on Mohs scale of hardness, so while relatively durable they can be susceptible to hard bumps or knocks. With this in mind, clean your Garnet jewellery by gently rinsing it in soapy water before using a soft bristled old toothbrush to brush away dirt and grime. Carefully inspect and links or clasps in the jewellery to ensure that your gems are safe from falling out of the setting.
Finally, it’s a good idea to pop into our store and allow us to inspect the piece to ensure it remains in great condition and give it that expert polish that will have the piece sparkling again.
Whether you’re buying a birthday gift, a wedding or engagement piece or just looking to extend your collection, the range of colours available in Garnets provide a wide variety of exciting jewellery choice. Contact us where our expert team can assist you in choosing the perfect metal match and jewellery setting for your Garnet piece.