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What Is The January Birthstone?

Born in January? You have the chance to start the year off with a bang by adding some attractive and fiery pieces to your wardrobe. And what better way to add that warm glimmer than with the brilliance of your very own January birthstone: the garnet!

The garnet is available in a variety of colours, but the most vied for and rarest of the lot, is the deep red Bohemian shade. If that happens to be your favourite, then count yourself lucky, because not only do we have them in nearly every design, but we also have an extensive collection of garnet jewellery. After all, who doesn’t want the enchanting sparkle of deep red?

So, let’s take a closer look at the January birthstone and all that makes it super special.


What is garnet?
★ What colour is January's birthstone?
★ Where is garnet found?
★ January birthstone alternatives
★ January birthstone jewellery

Gemstones have been worn and admired for centuries. Not only because of their unique beauty but because of their healing and spiritual properties. While gemstones have been popular since ancient times, it’s thought that the idea of birthstones dates back to the Breastplate of Aaron. Worn by the High Priest of the Israelites, this breastplate contained twelve gemstones representing the twelve tribes of Israel.

Today, there are birthstones for every month of the year. Each has a special meaning, a unique history and comes in a variety of shades. The first is the January birthstone.

Information about the January birthstone - Aquarius birthstone

What Is Garnet?

Garnet is the January birthstone (and also the Aquarius birthstone). Garnet is the term used to refer to a group of silicate minerals that have similar physical attributes, but different chemical structures. 

The word garnet comes from the 14th‑century Middle English word gernet, which means 'dark red'. It may also have its origins in the Latin word granatus, from granum ('grain, seed'). It is said by some that this is a reference to 'pomegranate' (punica granatum), a fruit with seeds that resemble garnet.

Garnet Fact Sheet

Garnet table

What Colour Is The January Birthstone?

Garnet is usually a red colour. However, because there are many different types of garnet, it can also appear in a multitude of colours, from yellow and orange to pink, blue and green.

Colour-changing garnet has also been discovered in Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania. It’s a rare and beautiful form of garnet that changes colour depending on what light source is used. Generally, it appears greenish when under fluorescent light (such as indoors), but looks red or purple or reddish-purple when in incandescent light.

the various colours of garnet, the January birthstone

Where Is Garnet Found?

First discovered in Ancient Egypt, this beautiful coloured gemstone can now be found all over the world. The different species and types of garnet are mined everywhere, from Russia and Namibia to Sri Lanka. However, the top producers of garnet are Australia, the US and China.

January Birthstone Alternatives

Want to celebrate your birth month with something other than red garnet jewellery? For those of you born in January, you actually have a wide choice of alternative birthstones! These are: 

  • Rose quartz 
  • Emerald (according to Tibetan astrology) 
  • Amethyst (as an Aquarius birthstone)

Garnet stone

January Birthstone Jewellery

At Shiels, we have a wide and beautiful selection of garnet jewellery. From statement garnet rings to dainty garnet necklaces and stunning garnet earrings, you’re sure to find the perfect modern birthstone piece.

Ranging from pale to dark crimson red, our range of Aquarius birthstone jewellery will be your new go-to for any outfit or occasion. 

Want to sparkle from head to toe? We’ve picked out a few of our favourite garnet jewellery items below:

garnet earrings

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Garnet ring 

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Garnet bracelet

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Shop now online or in-store for incredible gemstone jewellery for you and your loved ones. You can also buy now and pay later with a range of interest-free finance options. Why not take advantage of our New Year sale?

Not born in January, but want to learn more about the birthstone for August, the birthstone for March or the gemstone for those born in April? You can find all this and more below!

Other birthstones:

* Editor's Note: This post was originally published in December 2019 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness. 

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