January Birthstone: 5 More Facts About Garnet

I’ve mentioned to you in the past some fun facts about January’s birthstone – Garnet. After some digging I found some other great info on this gemstone.

1. Protection: Garnet was said to protect in the night. Whether you were an ancient traveler or just have a nightmare garnet would protect you and be used to light your way in the dark night.

2. Success:  It is believed that if your business is not as successful as it should be, you can place three garnets on your desk to bring you growth in your business.

3. Pomegranate: Garnet comes from the Latin word granatus, which many believe comes from malum granatum – the pomegranate plant. Garnets resemble the seeds of this fruit with it’s red tones and shape as you can see in the picture to the right.

4. Rhodolite and Tsavorite are two of the more popular types of garnet in jewelry, after the most common red garnet of course. Rhodolite is a beautiful raspberry red and tsavorite is a light green. Garnet also comes in other colors such as orange, yellow, brown and several more.

5. Largest Garnet in the world was found by a student in Australia in 1996. The single garnet was nearly 100 feet across!! I wonder how much jewelry could be made with that.

Shop our entire collection of Garnet jewelry


Break the Tradition of an All White Wedding

Traditionally, when we think of weddings we normally picture an all-white affair. White dress, white flowers, white diamonds….here’s where we’d like to see a change. We love the idea of switching from the traditional jewelry such as white diamonds to colorful gemstones on your big day.

Our Facebook Fan of the Week did just that, Sandra Hicke-Bayne got married last year in Barbados. Instead of the traditional white diamonds to accessorize her gown she opted for her birthstone, Garnet. This deep red gem also seemed quite appropriate since she got married the day after Valentine’s Day. ;)

Sandra wore several Garnet pieces from Ice.com on her wedding day including a Garnet bracelet & earrings, Garnet & Diamond necklace and a three heart Garnet ring! The rich red hue looks lovely against her white gown.

We’re predicting lots of vibrant jewels to hit wedding aisles in 2011. Princess bride-to-be Kate Middleton will likely enhance the trend at her April wedding to Prince William. She’ll be wearing Princess Diana’s famous Sapphire Engagement ring. We’re looking forward to seeing what exquisite jewels she pairs the ring with at the Royal Wedding.

Thank you Sandra for sharing your wedding day photos with us and including Ice.com on your special day. We wish you and your husband a happy and healthy life together. Happy early-Anniversary!

January Birthstone Trivia: Five Fun Facts About Garnet

To celebrate those of you celebrating a birthday this month, here’s a few fun pieces of trivia about the January birthstone, garnet.

Garnets are green

Green Garnet Earrings

Well most garnets are red, but they can also be green, orange, yellow, blue, purple, brown, black, pink or colorless.  Certain varieties of garnet even have one range color in daylight, but these colors change when exposed to incandescent light.

Tsavorite is the best known green garnet, and is commonly used in jewelry.  One of the rarest of all garnets is uvarovite, which is a bright emerald-green color:  it gets its consistently green color from the presence of chromium; it gets its rather unusual name from Russian statesman and amateur mineral collector Count Sergei Semenovitch Uvarov.

Garnets are true grit

Because garnet is a natural abrasive, it is used in sandpaper and in particular sandpaper used in woodworking.  In 1878 garnet coated sandpaper was first produced by Henry Hudson Barton of Barton Mines (who still produce abrasive products to this day).

Sandpaper was originally known as glass paper, which is fitting as garnet is a silicate mineral, and silica is the fundamental constitute of glass.

Garnets are worn with pride in Connecticut

Garnet is the official state mineral of Connecticut (yes, some states have official minerals.)  More specifically, the almandine garnet “ which, unsurprisingly, Connecticut possesses in abundance “ was elevated to this lofty status by the state’s General Assembly in 1977.

Connecticut is not the only state with an association to January’s birthstone.  Beating Connecticut to the punch by a decade, Idaho adopted the star garnet (a dark purple or plum-colored garnet) as the state gemstone in 1967.  Two years later New York designated the wine red garnet as its state gem. The grossular garnet (usually green) was made Vermont’s state gem in 1991.

By coincidence, January is also Connecticut’s birthday (it joined the Union on January 9, 1788), making garnet the perfect choice for the state mineral!

Garnets are very Bohemian

Bohemia, a historical region of central Europe now located in the contemporary Czech Republic, was an early source of quality garnets.  It is also one of the few places in the world where the pyrope garnet can be found.  Pryrope garnets are a deep, blood red in color and are also known as, you guessed it  Bohemian garnets.

The capital of the Czech Republic is Prague. There you can visit the Magic Garnet museum, which features a large collection of historical and contemporary garnet jewelry

Garnets are good for your health

January birthstone

Garnet has long been thought to have healing powers, credited with improving every sort of ill health from heart palpitations to heart disease.  On the metaphysical and mental front, garnets are said to combat melancholy and guard against evil spirits.

Garnets are also thought to offer protection against injury or death. Soldiers throughout the ages have carried garnets onto the battlefield to protect them from their enemies. In ancient Greece, sailors would wear amulets of garnet at sea as talismans, and an ancient legend  says that a garnet carbuncle was fixed on the mast of Noah’s Ark, and provided light on the voyage night and day.

Other characteristics associated with the January birthstone are love, devotion, honour and loyalty. It is even said that garnets given as gifts grant loyalty and affection upon the bestowed.  Whether or not this is true, a gift of fine garnet jewelry will always be appreciated  especially for those celebrating a January birthday.