January Birthstone: Garnet


Garnet’s Origin & Etymology

First things first, let’s find out where these abrasive stones come from. Originally found in America, garnets are widely produced today in Sri Lanka, India, and Africa. Tanzania, Australia, Argentina, and Myanmar are also noted as some of their most important sources.

As concerns the etymology of the January birthstone, the word “garnet” derives from the Latin “granatum”, which stands for “seed”. As the most familiar shape of garnets is roundish, and most of them are vividly red hued, these gems are reminiscent of pomegranate seeds.

Are there other birthstones for January? Well, although there are months that have multiple representative gemstones, Garnet has always stood as the birthstone for the first month of the year, at least in Western cultures. According to Eastern traditions, however, the birthstone for January is Serpent Stone.