January's Garnet and Diamond Yellow Gold Vintage Style Necklace

Welcome to the New Year! As we move into 2022 with intention and grace, we begin a new series for our birthstones! This year, we'll dive deeply into the myths and folklore surrounding each month's birthstone. To begin, we introduce: January's Garnet!

Round cut red garnet

With intense richness and variety in its color range, garnet is the perfect gemstone to be adopted by mythology and folklore. The January birthstone has an incredible history connected to many different cultures’ origin stories and mythology. 

Firstly, it is important to understand the linguistic origins of Garnet. The word, Garnet, itself, is derived from the Latin term, Garanatus, meaning, seedlike, in reference to the pomegranate fruit.

Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Proserpina

One of the most easily interesting connections between Garnet and mythology comes from the endlessly fascinating Roman mythology. In the legend of Pluto, god of the underworld, Proserpina (or, Proserpine), daughter of Jupiter and Ceres, it is said that Pluto stole Proserpina from her mother’s gardens and, before she could be found and brought back by her father, Jupiter, fed her the seeds of a pomegranate. This ensured that she would be obligated to return to him for a part of each year.

The jewel-like seeds of the pomegranate are frequently compared and connected with the garnet's deep red color and shimmering surface. Because of this, and the origin of the Garnet’s name, whose roots are directly connected with the language spoken by ancient Rome, the Garnet gemstone has long been associated with this ancient Roman myth.

(Image right: Dante Gabriel Rossetti's Paining of Proserpine)

Similarly, the Greek mythological version of this story follows the same plotline with variations on the names and origins of the gods and goddesses involved. In the Greek myth, which is sometimes more easily recognised, Proserpine is Persephone, Pluto is Hades, Jupiter is Zeus, and Ceres is Demeter. In both of these cultures, the garnet is connected to passion, safe travels/return, and vitality.

This connection to safe travels and passage is echoed in Biblical stories as well. The garnet is believed by some to have protected and guided Noah from in the Christian story of Noah’s Arc. Some say that Noah wore the stone around his neck to guide him in the stormy, dark nighttime during the 40 days and nights of the great flood. 

Throughout history, garnet has been a symbol of safety, fertility, and love. It has become the perfect storm between passion and calm understanding, and it brings beauty with it wherever it goes.

If your birthstone is the exquisite and mystical garnet, count yourself lucky. Wear the stone with diamonds to strengthen its ability to lead you to love, or with your favorite outfit to help it highlight your personal style and bring comfort to your day. Either way, this gemstone is sure to lend itself perfectly to whatever occasion arises!

Wear your birthstone in style, with one of the many stunning Garnet options we have in stock at Day's Jewelers!

Garnet Bezel Earrings in 10kt Yellow GoldRhodolite Garnet Necklace in 14kt White Gold with Diamond (.03ct tw)Cushion Cut Garnet Ring in 14kt Yellow Gold with Diamonds (1/7ct tw)

Happy birthday to everyone celebrating this month! May your new year bring you all of the passion and guidance that garnets embody.

Fondly,

Kyra Zabel

Kyra Zabel

Day's Jewelers Creative Content & Copywriter