Poor January birthdays. They suddenly appear after a month and a half of merry making and over indulgence. January is when diets begin, finances tighten and resolutions are absolute. In the world of birthdays, January is December's lesser twin sister where "not enough time" and somehow tacky/chintzy combined gift giving and even regifting is supposed to be temporarily acceptable and understandable. If you're a January birthday, how many times have you heard "it's your Christmas AND birthday present" - can anyone say "SHORT END OF THE STICK!" (no, my birthday is not in January!)
This year, if you know someone who has a January birthday, go the extra mile. Put a little bit more thought into their gift. Give them your time and friendship on their special day - do not let their birthday be an afterthought.
Garnet is the birthstone for January birthdays. Below are some interesting facts about garnets and why they make a wonderful gift for January birthdays:
• Garnets are a symbol of friendship - "One of the most beautiful qualities of friendship is to understand and to be understood." - Seneca
• The name garnet derives from the Latin word for grain (granatum) because the rounded crystals are similar to the red seeds of a pomegranate. (ref. Gemstones of the World by Walter Schumann)
• Garnets actually come in a full spectrum of colors (except for blue), however a deep red is the most well known color. The three most common types of garnet are Almandine (most common), Pyrope (reddish orange hue) and Rhodolite (a beautiful pink to purple hue). Rhodolite is my personal favorite.
• A special emerald green colored garnet was discovered in Kenya and Tanzania in 1974. This green garnet is known as tsavorite garnet and is a gorgeous and rare variety.
Above: Jubilee Talis Cuff with Tsavorite Garnets in 18k yellow gold
• Demantoid garnet is another green variety which is the most priceless of garnets. Its name comes from its diamond like structure.
• Garnets are so durable that remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the bronze age (Garnets rank 6.5-7.5 on the Mohs' hardness scale).
• Garnet's history starts with the Egyptians in 3100BC. Ancient Romans wore garnet signet rings and the nobility of the middle ages wore garnet jewelry.
• Garnets are one of the few gemstones that are not mined underground. They are found as pebbles in streams and water ways where the igneous and metamorphic rocks that contain them have eroded.
• Garnets are thought to hold medicinal powers such as protection against poisons, bad dreams and depression. They are thought to lower fevers and inflammation as well.