When I was deciding exactly what I wanted to say about garnets in this post (there's so much!), I realized I wanted to start at the very beginning. But where's that?! Before I started my research, I assumed birthstones were another ploy created by the precious stone industry to keep us buying jewelry all year long - similar to the excellent marketing campaign by De Beers that revolutionized the diamond industry.
But alas! I was mistaken. Apparently, the idea of birth stones goes all the way back to the bible. In the book of Exodus, God tells Moses to make this super fancy breastplate, and specifies 12 gemstones to be arranged on it which would represent the 12 tribes of Israel. A few hundred years later, the link was made between the tribes and the zodiac. It was thought that each of the gemstones had special powers associated with the corresponding astrological sign, and if you wore the gemstones at the right time, they would have therapeutic or talismanic benefits!
The idea that you stick with a single stone that represented your birth month instead of switching it up each month to line up with the zodiac can be traced to 18th century Poland, with the arrival of Jewish gem traders to the region. Finally, in 1912, the National Association of Jewelers came up with the final list we still use today!
For January, the corresponding gemstone is Garnet. Garnets are super interesting, because they aren't a single mineral like some stones, they are a group of closely related minerals. Although this creates a multitude of color options, at Vannucci, we use specifically three types of garnet that are in the warm color range: Pyrope (that traditional red color), Rhodolite (pinky-purple - my personal favorite!), and Grossular Hessonite (an orange-y red). All of these can be found in our popular Passion Collection.
Garnet was an apt choice for our Passion Collection since it represents primordial fire, the creation of the world out of chaos, purification and love. It's also known for its creative attributes. It can ground spiritual forces within the body to help work with ease and love on the physical plane. It's also one of the original stones from the Breastplate that wasn't switched out during more modern times!