Garnets are well known the world over as the traditional birthstone of January, but their appeal delves much more deeply than just to those that were born in the year’s first month. Indeed, garnets have long been believed to hold healing properties, and their colours can differ greatly from the deep, rich red for which they are most associated.


Though red is the garnet’s best-known colour, examples of the stone have been found in several shades of green, playful yellows, luminous oranges and even earthly brown hues. What’s more, many garnets have the ability to change colour, dependent upon whether they are viewed under the sun’s rays or those of an artificial lamp. In fact, only blue is excluded from garnets’ pantheon of blushes. This means that practically any garnet can be chosen according to a colour of your liking and, what’s more, you’ll be getting more from your jewel than simply dazzling shades.

Strength and brilliance

That’s because garnets have a toughness to back up their undoubted beauty. Rated 7 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness (good), garnets have commendable wearing qualities, are insensitive to most treatments and only really suffer when given to extended periods of heat exposure. Not only are they formidably solid, but their high refractive index of 1.88 – 1.94 means that their brilliance is bettered by few gemstones.

Healing properties 

What of the supposed healing powers of garnets? It is said that wearers of the stone will feel the benefits of greater circulation, hold a healthier heart and breathe more easily due to cleaner lungs. Furthermore, placing a garnet under the pillow before can help relieve the symptoms of depression and boost self esteem.

Garnet is is also the gemstone of choice for the romantic, as it symbolises love, passion, sensuality and intimacy, leaving no better gift to present your loved on with on February 14.

Business and friendship

Away from aiding the ailing body, garnet has also been used to boost failing businesses and expand prosperity. It is said that placing three garnets in your stuttering place of work will turn its fortunes around promptly. 

On an emotional level, garnet is a symbol of an everlasting friendship, trust and honesty, thus making it a favourite gift between close friends. It can also been worn on a variety of pieces, from elegant necklaces and ornate rings through to beautiful brooches.