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    Infinity ring with 11 Oval cut diamonds set in platinum lying on fabric in the sun

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    Introducing garnet, the beautiful birthstone for January

    Meet January’s birthstone: Glorious Garnet

    At Orsini, we are often asked: what is the birthstone for January? Well, if you’re lucky enough to be born in the first month of the calendar year, your birthstone is garnet — a beautiful, vibrantly coloured stone that brings with it good fortune and wonderfully rich history. Available in a multitude of colours as well as its signature rich red, garnet is actually a group of several minerals. Five of these – pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular and andradite– are very important as gems. Pyrope and almandine range from purple to red. Spessartine is found in exciting oranges and yellows, while andradite is mostly yellow to green (including the sought-after gem variety, demantoid).

    Grossular may have the widest range, from colourless through yellow to reddish-orange and orangey red, as well as a strong, vibrant green known as tsavorite. And for those who may ask: are there sometimes two birthstones for each month? Well traditionally, each month is associated with just a single gemstone – and birth months today are not necessarily the same ones that were used in ancient times. This is where extra stones may be also applicable, and some people draw freely from both lists and pick the stones that appeal to them.

    What is the history of the garnet stone?

    The word garnet, which is granatus in Latin, translates to “pomegranate,” which describes the colour most associated with the stone perfectly. It has been reported that garnet stones of various types were first discovered during the Bronze Age, and the precious gems have been treasured for over 5000 years by kings and queens, noblemen and noblewomen. Garnets have been used in significant jewellery pieces like necklaces since the times of ancient Egypt, while during the Middle Ages, deep red garnet jewellery was a favourite of both the nobility and clergy. The traditionally blood-red gemstone was also popular in the victorian era, when jewellery would feature this stunning gem long before diamonds came into fashion.

    Mood board with Garnet Rings and Earrings

    Where is the garnet found?

    Garnets come from many different regions and countries. Bohemia – a kingdom in the Holy Roman Empire and subsequently a province in the Habsburgs’ Austrian Empire - was the primary source of the red pyrope garnets so popular during Victorian times. Today, the African continent supplies much of the world’s garnet. Namibia is now producing demantoids, and most of the bright green tsavorites in the market come from Kenya, Tanzania and Madagascar. Namibia and Tanzania are also key sources of the rich orange-to-yellow spessartine garnets. For many years, Southern California’s Little Three mining area was known for producing this spellbinding gem, and the birthstone for January is also found in Myanmar, Brazil, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Sri Lanka, among other countries.

    Garnet Ring designed by Pomellato worn on hand

    What are garnet’s spiritual qualities?

    Traditionally, the January birthstone is believed to bring good fortune and mental clarity to all those who wear them, making for a beautiful reason to gift them to friends, family and loved ones. In addition, according to ancient Indian astrology, the garnet is believed to eliminate negative feelings and instead instil self-confidence, while also promoting clarity of the mind and creative thinking. It is also thought to be a gemstone that will keep one safe while travelling, making garnets a beautiful stone to wear at any time of day or night.

    Lariat Necklace with gemstones and garnet worn on model

    How many colours does garnet come in?

    Many people ask: which garnet is January’s birthstone? It comes in so many hues, but all are most definitely the designated stone for the first month of the year. Since the January birthstone colour can vary quite a bit, there are so many beautiful stones to choose from and we love that! In fact, when it comes to garnets, we think there is definitely one out there for everyone. The deeper reds complement those with a cooler skin tone beautifully, while garnets with more of an orange or yellow hue may work better for those with warmer tones in their skin. Colour ranges from the vivid greens of Tsavorite garnet to the dusty pink tones of Malaga, and through to the rare colour-change garnet. This particular stone will reveal different colours depending on the light, making it a highly collectable gem. While appearing to look initially grey, the stone will then change to a purple hue when viewed under a different light. So, if your birthstone is garnet but you’re not a fan of red, chances are there’s another garnet in a shade that you’ll love.

    Garnet Stud earrings designed by Marco Bicego worn on model

    How do I care for my garnet?

    How do I care for my garnet? Garnet jewellery is best cleaned with warm, soapy water and a tightly woven microfibre or other soft cloth, and always avoid steam cleaning to keep your stone looking it naturally bright best. And to minimise scratching and wear, always store each piece of your fine jewellery separately in a soft cloth or padded container. In addition, we highly recommend that you take all your fine jewellery to a professional jeweller at least twice a year for a thorough cleaning and inspection. And yes, we’re very happy to help!

    Jewellery box with pieces of jewellery inside

    How can I find the garnet for me?

    At Orsini, we love the process of helping our clients to create their dream piece of custom jewellery, especially one with their precious birthstone jewel at its heart. The process of building and shaping an idea, then turning that idea into a true masterpiece, is one that we relish at every step. If you have an idea in mind for a piece of jewellery that you just can’t find or don’t know where to start, we’d love to meet with you and give you an insight into our process and how it can work for you. The Orsini team consists of unabashedly creative and talented jewellery designers, premium diamond graders, gemmologists and master goldsmiths, all trained to create unique pieces of jewellery through every stage of the process, with great precision and finish. We are proud of our creations and teamwork, and we would love to work together with you to make your dreams a reality. Feel free to contact us at any time, or visit us in-store at our elegant Parnell atelier, where we invite you to relax while we discuss the seemingly endless possibilities for your bespoke design.

    bespoke custom jewellery being designed on paper with gemstones