January’s birthstone is the gorgeous garnet. Some say that this stone brings health, wealth, and happiness, which makes it the perfect stone for the start of a new year. I can’t attest to whether or not it brings health, but it sure does make me happy! As for wealth, I once sold a garnet ring right off my finger, so maybe there is some truth to the legend!
In all seriousness, garnet is a fantastic stone because of its rich colors. Red garnet, which you are probably familiar with, ranges from so deep it’s almost black to raspberry colored to light pink. Garnets also come in orange, yellow and - my personal obsession - deep green.
Garnet’s bright reds make it a great stone for holidays, like Christmas, Valentines Day, and Georgia Bulldogs games. (What can I say, I’m in Savannah.) Cabochon cuts set in bezels look great with this stone, especially a rose cut cabochon. (A little jewelry-making vocabulary: A bezel is a setting that goes all the way around the gemstone, as opposed to prongs. Cabochon gems are flat on the bottom and rounded at the top. Typically, cabochons are domed - nice and smooth at the top - or rose cut - checkered at the top.) I
The word garnet is believed to have derived from a word meaning “seed''. Some say this is a reference to the fact that a domed or rose cut garnet cabochon in a bezel setting resembles a pomegranate seed. I guess people have been styling this stone that way for a while!
But don’t you worry - just because I might use a few traditional settings with my garnet jewelry does not mean that these pieces are run-of-the-mill. Like all my jewelry, I love creating completely unique and one-of-a-kind garnet pieces!
Pine green garnet is known as Tsavorite, and it’s quite rare in comparison to red garnet. So, I was pretty excited when a client reached out to me saying she had a loose Tsavorite in her jewelry box. I just had to get my hands on that stone! The client had seen my Ripple Collection online and wanted something in that realm, but specialized for her stone. After a bit of trial and error, we opted for a white gold symmetrical band that really made this emerald cut gem the star of the show. The combination of white gold and green reminds me of winter snowfall in a pine forest.
This piece is a great example of that “pomegranate seed” look I mentioned earlier, as well as how I put my own Kristen Baird® spin on things. My client had a very sentimental diamond and garnet bracelet that her father had given to her mother quite early in their relationship. My client loved the story behind this piece, but the design itself could use an upgrade. These particular garnets were Rhodolite - that is, a delicious raspberry color. We opted for a ring with a cluster of three faceted garnets nestled in sturdy yellow gold bezels. (Look how much you know now!) I also made yellow gold granules for the diamonds, and set them on a thick silver ripple band for a two-toned look. What a stunner!
Red Backpack Cuff
How do you show your gratitude when one of your heroes steps in to support you? With garnets, of course! Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx and one of my role models when it comes to female entrepreneurship, generously selected Kristen Baird® Jewelry to receive one of her Red Backpack Grants during the roughest days of the 2020 Covid-19 Pandemic. Her support made a big difference, and I knew I had to repay her with one of my custom Splash Gem Cuffs. I selected a deep red garnet in honor of the Red Backpack Fund and embellished it with the message “Thank you for believing in me.” The best part - I actually got a thank-you text from Sara Blakely herself!
I hope you learned something new about the beautiful garnet. Maybe you’re even inspired to create a garnet piece of your own. If so - reach out! I’m all about these gorgeous gemstones.
If you’re looking for a gift for a loved one with a January birthday (or for yourself) check out our collection of “ready to ship” garnet jewelry. You’re sure to find something great for every taste and style!
And a very happy birthday to all my January babies out there!