' Garnet’s meaning, styling, and care - HAVERHILL
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Greenwich Solitaire ring, Rosecliff Stackable ring, and Newport Grand necklace, all featuring garnet in 14k yellow gold.
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Garnet’s meaning, styling, and care

The Meaning of Garnet

The symbolic meaning of January's birthstone, Garnet, stems from its blood red color, linking it to the heart’s vitality, and thus friendship and love. It is connected to the heart chakra, enhancing relationships, and inspiring love and devotion. Garnet jewelry is often given as a sign of devotion and commitment and is the gemstone chosen for the second and eighth anniversaries.

Woman wearing a Classic 1 Birthstone necklace featuring a 4mm briolette cut, bezel set garnet, and an Adelaide Mini necklace.

A symbol of enduring affection and eternal friendship, Garnets are associated with Persephone from Greek mythology. The goddess of vegetation was kidnapped by Hades, the god of the Underworld. While there, she ate six pomegranate seeds, condemning her to remain in the Underworld for that many months out of the year, resulting in six months of winter followed by spring. Because garnets resemble pomegranate seeds, the stone has come to stand for the safe return of a friend or loved one. Garnets are thus said to protect travelers on their journeys and were often exchanged between friends as tokens that they would meet again.

Woman wearing a Bayberry Garnet Wrap necklace featuring evenly spaced 4mm briolette cut gemstones on a 1.17mm cable chain.

The connection to vitality and life force has also meant that Garnets are seen as having protective powers. Many ancient cultures from Saxon and Celtic kings to Native American healers believed that garnets had protective powers. King Solomon wore garnets into battle, as did Christian and Muslim warriors during the Crusades hoping to be protected from injury. Garnet is the birthstone for the Zodiac signs of Capricorn and Aquarius.

A wrist wearing a Newport Grand Garnet bracelet featuring a continuous strand of 6mm briolette cut, bezel set gemstones.

Since ancient times, humans have associated gemstones with healing properties and spiritual significance.

Garnet - Gemstone Knowledge

Garnet is a semi precious gemstone which derives its name from the Latin word, “granatus,” which means seed, evoking the vivid red seeds of a pomegranate. Garnets are actually a group of silicate minerals including pyrope, almandine, spessartine, andradite, and grossular, with similar crystal structure and colors ranging from yellow, to orange, pink, red, purple, green, brown, and black.

Scattered assortment of loose garnet gemstones of various cuts and sizes on a white fabric background.

Caring for your Garnet Jewelry

Garnet is moderately durable and so is a good choice for everyday wear, with a little care. You can wear your Garnet jewelry in the shower, while swimming, sleeping and exercising. Keep Garnets away from extreme heat and be sure not to strike them against hard surfaces.

14k yellow gold Greenwich Flower earrings featuring five 4mm faceted round cut gemstones & a 2.7mm prong set center diamond.

How to Clean your Garnet Jewelry

Occasional cleaning with a non-abrasive jewelry cleaner or mild dye-free dish soap and water is a simple way to maintain the beauty of your Garnet jewelry. Let the jewelry soak in a small bowl for a few minutes (keep it away from the sink & drain), then brush gently with a soft toothbrush. Be sure to rinse it completely and blot dry with a chamois cloth.

Woman wearing a Warren Garnet Ring with Diamonds featuring a 10x8mm bezel set center stone and sixteen 2mm accent stones.

Styling Tips for Garnet Jewelry

Bristol Bead Garnet necklace featuring an 8mm center bead, and two 6mm gold beads on either side, on a 1.17mm cable chain.

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FAQ

How can I tell Garnet and Ruby apart?

Rubies are a true red and Garnets often have a touch of earthy tones, including orange to brownish red. If you hold a Garnet so the light shines through it, the rainbow created should include yellow and green. Rubies will only show red when light passes through them. Rubies (9 on the Mohs scale) are harder than Garnets (6.5 - 7.5).

Should I only wear Garnet if it is my birthstone?

Absolutely not! People wear gemstones for many reasons, not just because they are the birthstone for the month they were born. You may choose to wear a stone because you feel a connection to the color, because the traditional meaning resonates with you, or because it reminds you of someone you love like a child, a friend or a loved one who has passed away. Jewelry is extremely personal and you should feel free to wear gemstones that speak to you.

Is Garnet jewelry a good Valentine’s gift?

Garnet’s long association with love and friendship makes it an excellent choice for a romantic gift. The deep red color of this lovely semi precious gemstone combined with its symbolic ties to devotion and commitment make it a thoughtful and meaningful gift for Valentine's Day or Annversaries.