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  • angela smith bespoke handmade jewellery

Garnet! A birthstone for January

Updated: Jan 4, 2022

Firstly it might be a good idea to have a brief introduction to birthstones

Birthstones are gemstones associated with each month of the year.

Birthstones are believed to have originated from the breastplate of Aaron which was adorned with twelve gemstones each one representing one of the twelve tribes of Israel.

However gemstones have also been used as amulets and adornments in many ancient civilisations and were typically worn as a talisman as they were thought to hold cosmological powers and bring good luck and health to the wearer.

The custom of wearing a single gem as a birthstone can only be dated back a few centuries. There are a handful of theories about the exact date for this. It is believed the idea was originally brought to Europe by gem traders or astrologists from the Middle East. The custom then either originated in Germany in the 16th Century or Poland in the 18th Century. Neither of these had a huge impact though on the wearing of gemstones, and it wasn't until 1912 and a piece of genius marketing did our modern day list of birthstones take centre stage!


January - garnet July - ruby

February - amethyst August - peridot

March - aquamarine September - sapphire

April - diamond October - opal or tourmaline

May - emerald November - topaz or citrine

June - pearl or moonstone December - turquoise/blue topaz

This list was originally drawn up by the American National Association of Jewellers at a meeting in Kansas City in 1912.

They didn't have any other reason for compiling this list other than as a way of selling gemstones and these were the ones they most wanted to sell!

So here we are in 2021 and the idea of birthstones is still going strong and as we are in January lets take a look at garnet.

Garnet is a mixed group of silicate gems, all with cubic crystals, although garnets are usually thought of as being deep red in colour they can be almost any colour, blue and green garnets though are extremely rare. Garnets have been used since the bronze age both as gemstones and, because of its physical structure, as abrasives too. They measure 6.5 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.

As a spiritual gem Garnet is considered to be a stone of higher thinking and self empowerment. It is also a stone of prosperity and abundance. Due to the supposed energising nature of Garnet it is often used for manifestation purposes and worn for good luck. It is also thought to help build self confidence and bring a clarity to the wearers life purpose and have strong connections with creativity and love.

Whatever your thoughts about Garnet as a birthstone or spiritual stone there is no denying that it is a truly stunning gemstone.

Please take a look at my two pieces of crocheted wire and glass bead jewellery decorated with beautiful garnet drops. These are currently for sale on my website I only have one of each and once they have sold they will not be re made.

Can I also remind you that I am offering 15% off all purchases until 14th February 2021 so now would be a good time to buy!


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