January Birthstone: Garnet

January Birthstones: Garnet

Happy New Year! 

January’s birthstone is garnet and in this blog post we’ll be looking in detail at this wonderful gemstone for all of your cycling jewellery. We’ll be learning about the types of garnet gemstones, when they make the best gifts and all the colours, types and of course garnet cufflinks.

This post will cover a great deal of information about garnet gemstones and garnet jewellery. With that in mind, and if you may be looking for some specific information about garnet stones here are the section headings as clickable links:

Garnet Anniversary

Types of Garnet Gemstones

Colours of Garnet

Varieties of Garnet

Properties of Garnet

Garnet Cufflinks

Conclusion

Lets move onto the first section of this garnet birthstone article. 

Garnet Anniversary

You may not know, but garnet is also the gemstone of the 2nd wedding anniversary. So if you were married in January 2 years ago, this is the perfect gem for your celebration and buying some cycling jewellery with garnet it is sure to put you into the ‘most thoughtful spouse’ category for at least a good few months after your garnet anniversary. Garnet makes a wonderful anniversary gift, the red colour is deep and red and suits roses perfectly giving a romantic feeling making it a true garnet celebration.

Types of Garnet Gemstones

In this section we’ll learn about some of the types of garnet. There are many types of garnet stones. All are quite hard, so create good reflective surfaces. The different types of garnet have different properties and colours. It is possible to get garnet in almost any colour, but some of the types of garnet are not suitable for jewellery because their quality can vary too greatly. You may have also seen garnet as an abrasive. It is used in high pressure blasters to blast surfaces and remove paint or debris similar to sandblasting.

Colours of Garnet

People liken the colour of garnet gemstone to red wine pomegranate, but not all garnets are red.

People liken the colour of garnet gemstone to red wine pomegranate, but not all garnets are red.

The most common colour of garnet is a deep or brick red with hints of brown. Some people say garnet looks like the colour of pomegranate or red wine. However, red coloured garnets are not the only ones. Garnets can be naturally coloured green, yellow, blue, pink and they can be clear. Some garnets even change colour! 

Some of the colours of garnet are more commonly known by different names. Here are some examples with their colours:

  • Rhodolite – pink/ violet

  • Tsavorite - green

  • Cape Ruby - red

  • Cinnamon stone - brown

  • Topazolite – lemon yellow

  • Hessonite – orange/ brown

Varieties of Garnet

The varieties of garnet gemstones all have different chemical compositions and occur in different parts of the world, and in different rocks where they have formed in different ways. Now you can begin to understand how all of these variables mean that there are a great many different types of garnet gemstones. As such garnet is better thought of as a family of gemstones or minerals, rather than specific gemstone such as a diamond.

There are six main varieties of garnet. These are called:

  • Almandine – these are made with iron aluminium silicate, they are usually red with a hint of violet. 

  • Andradite – these are green, black or yellow coloured garnets 

  • Grossular – these are made with calcium and aluminium. They can be green or brown or colourless. Tsavorite is an example of grossular garnet. Grossular garnets are found in Siberia, brazil, sri lanka, Kenya, Tanzania, india, and California.

  • Pyrope – most of the typical garnets which are red with a hint of brown are pyrope. Although colours range through violet tones to almost black. Some of these gemstones can change colour under incandescent light.

  • Spessartine – these garnet gemstones are more orange in colour.

  • Uvarovite– green in colour, but not often in good enough quality for jewellery gemstones. Uvarovite is rarest of garnets, its green colour is comes from chromium. It is the only garnet that comes in only one colour.

Within these varieties of garnet, there are mixtures for example rhodolite is a mixture of pyrope and almandine garnets. And the Mozambique garnets used in our bike chain cufflinks are almandine with some pyrope.

Properties of Garnet

Garnet is an important crystal mineral for people interested in the healing and energy properties gemstones. If this is you, then you’re in the right place. 

Garnet is said to have the ability to utilise creative energy for example helping turn crises into challenges. It shields you from negative energy and balances the mind. It provides energy and regeneration helping those near to the gemstones to remain calm, regain spirit and feel like themselves again. When placed under a pillow, garnet is also said to stop bad dreams. 

Our garnet cufflinks are available with two types of garnet: deep red Thai garnet, which is the most traditional colour of garnet. We also offer bike chain cufflinks in the rarer rhodolite, which as you now know is a type of garnet. These give you a wide choice of birthstone cufflink.

A gold bike chain link cufflink with Mozambique garnet.

A gold bike chain link cufflink with Mozambique garnet.

The Thai garnet is set into silver bike chain cufflinks, whist we set the less common Mozambique garnet into gold and rose gold cufflinks. This is a creative decision because we think the strong red of the Thai garnet creates a better contrast with silver, whilst the orange colours in Mozambique garnet complement the tones of gold and rose gold more effectively. 

With all of our garnet cufflinks, we carefully select garnets for our cufflinks to match in colour, character and clarity so you can be sure your garnet cufflinks are of the highest quality. 

Conclusion

I hope this has given you a good overview of garnet gemstones including how they feature as a birthstone. The range is both beautiful and interesting, showing some highly original stones. Not all garnets are red, but they all have lots of character and they can make excellent birthstone cufflinks. When selecting the right gemstone for a January gift or a 2nd wedding anniversary, garnet gifts should certainly be near the top of your list.