Everything you need to know about THE JANUARY BIRTHSTONE, its HISTORY, HEALTH BENEFITS, & MORE
For some, January is also an especially quiet month due to the post-holiday come-down period. Capricorns and Aquarians are in their prime during this month. Most jewellery enthusiasts are however curious to know "what is the birthstone for January?"
January serves up a beautiful dynamic duo to say hello and fall in love with. It's time to meet and love the birthstones garnet and rose quartz.
WHAT IS THE GARNET BIRTHSTONE?
A garnet essence helps you find your glow when you're feeling low, as it is capable of stimulating your motivation and setting your energy ablaze. It supports determination, and it carries you through dark times.
Garnet is traditionally the birthstone for January birthdays and the second anniversary of marriage
The January birthstone is composed of Pyrope, almandine, Spessartine, Grossular, and andradite minerals. Pyropes and almandines contain purple-red tones, while Spessartines are known for their vibrant orange and yellow hue. The mineral Grossular is the most rainbow of the minerals, characterized by colorless notes in yellow, red, and orange, but garnering much attention in its vibrant greens.
You can find this gemstone in a variety of blends, including:
- Rhodolite- This mineral is made up of Pyrope and Almandine and exhibits a purplish colour
- Malaia - mineral is a combination of Spessartite and Pyrope that features a red, yellow, or orange coloration.
- Color- Changing Garnets- A reddish-blue blend of Pyrope and Spessartite with flashes of purple.
Here are some fun facts about the history of the garnet birthstone:
The word "Garnet" derives from the Medieval Latin term "granatus," which describes the red colour of a pomegranate.
Let's learn a little more about the historical significance of the Garnet birthstone.
Garnets have been prestigious gemstones throughout history. During the Bronze Age, garnets served as abrasives and gemstones. Pharaohs of the Ancient Egyptian era wore elaborate necklaces featuring red garnets. Ancient Rome, however, had signet rings containing garnet intaglios. Stamping wax and securing important documents required this. Garnet was the preferred gem for clergy and nobility in the Middle Ages.
Red beauties with vivacious and multidimensional features were very popular during the Victorian Era. Elaborated further down below, the most famous piece of jewellery was crafted in this era.
The Most Famous Piece of Jewellery
The Antique Pyrope Hair Comb is known as one of the most famous Garnet jewelry pieces. Greek origins describe Pyrope as having fiery eyes, which is an apt description of this January birthstone. Traditionally, these stones were mined from historic Bohemian mines (modern day Czech Republic). In the Smithsonian Museum, you can witness the full throttle beauty of the Antique Pyrope Hair Comb.
GARNET HEALTH BENEFITS
If you wear your garnet birthstone, positive vibrations and health benefits are said to flow. Benefits include the elimination of negative feelings related to guilt and depression. Further, the people have noted better self-confidence and mental clarity. Let's face it, who isn't in favour of a more peaceful mind?
The medieval period recognized garnets as a remedy for inflammatory disease, hemorrhages, and even anger. Garnet is also associated with the circulatory system and production of hemoglobin in traditional folklore. Among other things, they believed it stimulated blood flow, ignited metabolisms, and cured spinal disorders.
WHERE GARNETS ARE FOUND
Apart from bohemia (modern-day Czech Republic), this January birthstone is the most prominent on the African continent. Kenya, Tanzania, Madagascar, and Namibia are among the countries where the gem (or minerals that form the gem) can be found. Additionally, the Garnet can be found in Myanmar, Brazil, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka.
GARNET CARE & CLEANING
On the Mohs scale, January's birthstone ranges between 6.5 and 7.5, meaning it's more prone to damage than other stones such as diamonds. Jewellery in general should be stored separately to avoid your stones being scratched by one another.
The best way to clean garnets is with warm, soapy water, a soft brush, or by using ultrasonic cleaners for Garnets that are not fracture-filled.
If a fracture-filled garnet needs to be repaired, a jeweler will usually fill it with glassy substance. Consequently, you may have to clean the gem differently.
WHAT IS THE ROSE QUARTZ BIRTHSTONE?
In addition to being the January’s secondary birthstone, rose quartz triggers the heart's innate ability to give and receive love. It is a stone that conveys a sense of individual fulfilment and contentment.
Rose Quartz Properties
As opposed to the multi-component garnet, rose quartz is only made from silica, the common form of quartz. It can range in colour from delicate, light pink to an intense cotton candy-coloured hue.
Rose Quartz Variations
The intriguing thing about these birthstones of January is they are opaque or translucent in their natural form. In 1980, transparent material discovered in Madagascar led to the rise of faceted gemstones of Rose Quartz.
ROSE QUARTZ HISTORY
Rose quartz is unusual among gemstones in that it may exhibit Tyndall scattering, an effect of fine particles that causes light to appear blue when viewed from a particular angle. Inclusions can turn a portion of the quartz blue when light hits it at the right angle.
Here are some other variations:
- Star Rose Quartz- An aligned silky inclusion in Rose Quartz that reflects light as rays of a star
- Cat’s Eye Rose Quartz- The reflection in this variation resembles a single band, like an eye
- Pink Quartz- gemstone with a rose-coloured hue
ROSE QUARTZ HEALTH BENEFITS
Rose quartz is well-known for its healing properties and is known to alleviate heart disease, headaches, depression, and other stress-related issues. Aside from those benefits, they are also known to reduce blood pressure, PMS symptoms, thrombosis, and heart disease, as well as skin problems (acne, wrinkles, scarring, etc.).
Even better, if you're expecting—it will enhance the health of the mother and her child, ease labour pains, increase milk production, and prevent postpartum depression.
By now knowing its beneficial factors, you probably don't need us to tell you twice. Take Charge Of Your Health And Try Some Rose Quartz Jewellery!
WHERE ROSE QUARTZES ARE FOUND
Around the world, Rose quartz is found in many locations, with Brazil and Madagascar being the most prominent sites.
Additionally, the January birthstone is found in Afghanistan, India, Japan, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Russia, and Sri Lanka.
ROSE QUARTZ CARE & CLEANING
This crystal's hardness of 7 and lack of cleavage make it the January birthstone of durability. Cleaning is as simple as cleaning a garnet. Just using warm water with a soft brush is all that's needed. Rose quartzes have inclusions, so you should avoid mechanical systems.
Save those variations (i.e. Pink Quartz) for wearing only in the evening or on special occasions. Why you may ask?
The sun's UV rays and other light sources fade the colours of the stone, so it's imperative that you take special care of yours to maintain its bright pink colour.
Now that you have expertise in January's birthstones, it's time to expand your knowledge on other beautiful birthstone gems!