Though garnets come in a rainbow of colors, when we think about the January birthstone, it’s the red variety—in fact, the world garnet comes from the Middle English gernet, meaning dark red—that seems to emerge. Thought to represent friendship and trust, as well as peace, wealth, and good health, there’s no reason not to love either the beautiful stone or what it symbolizes.
This stone is found all over the world and is so durable that specimens can be traced back to the Bronze Age, though Egyptians and Romans liked their garnets, too. If you like them, either because you’re born in January, want to buy one for a January birthday loved one, or just because they’re gorgeous, there are few tips for garnet jewelry shopping in the DC area.
First, look at the stone under a light. You want it to be saturated with intense color, no matter the color. Like diamonds, garnets are judged by clarity and cut as well; you want to be sure light spreads evenly over the surface of the stone to show its best beauty. If you see inclusions, that might not be a bad thing! Some garnets have inclusions that are considered part of the appeal of the stone. It can get a little confusing, so if you need help in your evaluation, we at Vienna Jewelry on Maple Avenue are happy to help.