January Birthstone Jewelry: The Gorgeous Garnet
What is a Garnet and What Color is It?
Garnets are a type of rock-forming silicate minerals. There are several different species of garnets that all share similar physical properties, but they have different chemical compositions. These chemical differences result in a variety of gemstone colors like green (the rarest color), yellow, orange, purple, and even black. However, the most commonly known color of garnet is a deep red – and this crimson color garnet is the traditional birthstone for January.
What is the Meaning and History of Garnets?
Garnets are believed to offer wearers good health, protection, strength, and wealth. They also represent love and rebirth, making them the perfect birthstone for the beginning of a new year. Garnet jewelry has been dated back to the Bronze Age, as well as Ancient Egypt, Sumeria, and Sweden.
Garnets were also highly treasured during the height of Classical Greek civilization, and red garnets were the most commonly used gemstones in the Roman world during the Late Antique period (the transition time between classical antiquity and the Middle Ages). Across the ocean, garnets were even used in Native American and pre-Columbian Aztec ornaments.
The reason for this intercontinental craze is because garnets are formed close to the Earth’s surface, so deep mining isn’t required to harvest them. In fact, they’re commonly found as small pebbles in streams, and they’ve been discovered in more than 30 countries around the world. The positive beliefs and benefits associated with garnets, along with their widespread formation, has crystalized the January birthstone as one of the most beloved gemstones in the world.
How to Care for Garnet Jewelry: Storage and Cleaning
Garnets range between 6.5 and 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness, due to the different chemical compositions found in the larger garnet family. Compare this range to rubies and sapphires (9 out of 10) or even diamonds (10 out of 10), and you can see that garnets are more susceptible to damage from harder gemstones.
To avoid unwanted scratches, make sure to store your garnet away from your other pieces of jewelry. And when it comes to cleaning, a soft brush or cloth with warm water and gentle soap is the best way to clean your garnet jewelry. Any harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners could damage the gemstone – especially if there’s fractures present in the garnet.
When it comes to January birthstone jewelry, JCPenney has a gorgeous collection of genuine garnet jewelry. From pendant necklaces and garnet drop earrings, to garnet rings and tennis bracelets, you’ll be sure to find the best garnet fine jewelry pieces to add to your collection – and if you make your purchase with a JCPenney credit card, we have special financing available for fine jewelry purchased. Shop online and save on garnet jewelry today!