Happy Birthday, Garnet: Highlights of January’s Birthstone and a Request for More

Carl K Gumpert garnet stud earrings

Carl K. Gumpert

The birthstone of January, garnet is an underrated gemstone. Not necessarily as vibrant as ruby, the reddish gem is to jewelry what oxblood is to fashion: beautiful, dramatic, and versatile. As of late, designers seem to gravitate toward tsavorite garnet, and who could blame them? In all of its bright green glory, tsavorite adds a pop of rich color to designs like no other gemstone.

Thistle & Bee garnet bamboo bangleThistle & Bee


Gemco Designs natural garnet strand necklace

Gemco Designs

You can find garnet in all manner of shades, from the recognizable red to orange, yellow, even blue and purple. A recent favorite: spessartite, an oft-vivd orange hue that looks delectable enough to eat and answers the call for the citrusy shade promising to be so popular this year. But the color I’d like to focus on this time around is the one most recognized in January’s birthstone: a rusty, almost earthy red, with deep undertones and a seductive energy. 


A rich, vibrant red, like that often seen in a ruby, signifies power and strength—sought-after qualities, for sure. But garnet is said to be a stone of passion, true friendship, and attraction; qualities that are undeniably desired. 

Garnet has had its fair share of red carpet appearances, as pictured above on a Hannah Montana–era Miley Cyrus in 2008 and on Kate Beckinsale in 2009. It seems this gemstone has been flying under the radar ever since, though. Which begs the question: Can we see a resurgence anytime soon? 

Silver Stars Collection garnet leaf ringSilver Stars Collection


Sabrina Designs smoky quartz and garnet pendant

Sabrina Designs


I’d be interested to see a range of refreshed designs featuring garnet in the coming years, as so many designers have done by giving new life to opal, moonstone, and range of quartz. It would fit so well with the latest dramatic aesthetic, on a background of black rhodium with rose-cut or champagne diamonds. I can picture it now! So happy birthday, garnet. Here’s hoping we see more of you, more often.

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JCK Contributing Editor

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