Garnet — the January birthstone — usually brings to mind a deep red color, but this versatile gemstone comes in a rainbow of options. The color variation results from trace elements, and each variety has a designated name: pyrope and almandine (purple to orangy red), spessartine (oranges and yellows), grossularite (colorless to yellow, reddish orange, vibrant green), andradite (yellow and yellowish green).
There are also combinations of these, resulting in even more colors to choose from.
Durability and geography
A very durable gemstone (6.5-7.5 on the Mohs scale), garnet often has excellent clarity and transparency. While inclusions — or internal flaws — in a gemstone are usually considered a negative, demontoid garnet’s unique “horsetail” inclusion is highly prized.
Garnet and its varieties are found all over the world, including numerous locations in the United States, particularly Wyoming, as well as in the Czech Republic, Greece, Russia, Tanzania, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and India.
As with other gemstones, garnet is believed to have various health benefits, such as relief for heart ailments, inflammatory diseases and liver problems.
Considered the gem of faith, friendship, peace and good will, garnet is a great gift for a special friend or loved one, or as a gift for yourself.
No matter why or how you wear garnet, this colorful gemstone is perfect for starting the New Year with a sense of goodwill, happiness, and purpose.