Birthstones exist across cultures and throughout history. They reflect important aspects of society, such as religion or customs. Many groups have updated these symbolic stones to reflect current tastes, thoughts, and trends. Join us as we examine the nature of the January birthstone.

By her who in January was born

No gem save Garnets shall be worn

They will ensure her constancy

True friendship and fidelity.

-Traditional Birthstone Poem

Mozambique garnet ring in sterling silver.

Many visualize red stones when they think of garnet, such as Mozambique garnet.

Modern Birthstone

In the early 20th century, garnet carried over its position from the historical birthstone list to the modern one. When comparing the contemporary and historical birthstone lists, this gem is one of only a few to retain its position!

Often, we think of garnet as a deeply hued red gem. In reality, red garnets are part of a much larger family of gemstones! Garnets come in a wide variety of colors, including red, orange, green, and purple.

Hessonite earrings from the KARIS collection.

Hessonite is an orange variety of the January birthstone.

Historical Birthstone

While birthstones lore traces its roots back to Aaron’s breastplate, they are a relatively modern concept. There are records of garnets being used as birthstones as early as the 15th century.

Metaphysical Properties

Since antiquity, garnets have been famous for their inner sparkle. In Hinduism and Buddhism, garnet is a holy stone that enlightens the soul and gives wisdom.

Garnet is said to release negative energy. Many say the gemstone encourages feelings of joy, willpower, and hope. Meanwhile, its fiery color drives away tiredness and stimulates the imagination.

Tsavorite ring in sterling silver.

Tsavorite, as seen in this ring, is one of two green garnet types. The other is demantoid.

January Birthstone Quick Facts

  • Garnet is the modern US birthstone.
  • Capricorn (12/22-1/21) utilizes ruby as their stone.
  • Aquarius (1/22-2/18) also uses garnet as a birthstone.
  • Garnet has been a January birthstone since at least the 15th century.
Rhodolite garnet in sterling silver pendant.

Rhodolite often takes on a purplish color, as seen in Tanzanian Wine Garnet.

Your Birthstone

Many believe birthstones bring us luck. They continue to be a great gift, and birthstones are a unique way to tell a story about yourself.

Explore the full range of January birthstone jewelry today!

Which color of garnet is your favorite? Tell us in the comments!