Talkative, smart and independent, January-born are perfectly matched by the multi-faceted garnets. We list some jewels to lust after as we begin our series on birthstones
Garnet, the birthstone of January, is a fascinating gem to usher in 2021. The name ‘garnet’ originates from the medieval Latin word granatus, meaning ‘pomegranate,’ and refers to the deep red hue of the pomegranate seeds. Garnets have a storied history and have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives, eventual finding their way into adornments worn by the pharos in ancient Egypt. The stone was popular with Romans as well as the clergy and nobility in the Middle Ages.
Garnet gemstones have a wide colour range – from rich orange-to-yellow, to reddish orange and orangy-red, as well as a strong vibrant green (tsavorite) and purplish (almandine garnets).
This is the perfect month to shine the spotlight on garnet jewellery. Los-Angeles based jewellery designer Vram Minassian tends to create anywhere between a dozen and two dozen one-of-a-kind pieces per year that are built around specific gemstones. The sculptural Echo ring, in 18k yellow gold, from his Continuum collection has a gorgeous green iteration. “The tsavorite garnets are an incredible ingredient, when it comes to adding serious colour. Such power is hard to resist!”
There is a huge variety of garnets and they are probably underrated, in general due to a lack of education in the buying public, Mr. Minassian observes. “This is probably a symptom of their diversity and versatility. In the last couple of years alone, I’ve used mandarin, demantoid, umbalite, hydrogrossular, and tsavorite garnets in my work to great effect.”
UK jewellery brand NeverNot – co-founded by Nina Dzhokhadze, Natia Chkhartishvili and Tamara Svanidze – is known for their signature style oversized cocktail rings. The
‘Ready to Activate’ ring in 18k yellow gold set with malachite, red garnet and diamonds is their piece that can be worn three ways. “You can also stack it with small bands from your own collection or with band rings with stripes from NNT – and it changes the style completely,” adds Ms. Dzhokhadze. “The ring features a slim line of diamond pave; the garnet’s rich deep red tone contrasts with the white diamonds and the malachite. The design ‘activates’ each stone vividly.”
Angie Marei of Diaboli Kill has killer earcuffs that are made-to-order. The New York designer’s Isadora earcuff in 18k yellow gold features dark red garnets. “I have always been inspired by Art Deco period hair combs and Kanzashi (Japanese hair ornaments) that in some instances were designed to also be used as defensive weapons. I chose the marquise-cut and round-cut red garnets for this particular collection because they reminded me of lush tropical plants of the Caribbean, like in the Dominican Republic where my mother is from,” explains Ms. Marei.
Garnet has been at the center of many audacious designs. Browse through our edit of the prettiest garnet jewellery to add to your collection. Pick your favourite with the individualistic style that January babies are known for! We list 10 crowd pleasers below.
The Grab n Go - Ready 2 Activate makes styling effortless. Detach the central garnet and diamond ring to be worn separately or wear it with the malachite bands, and you will have a conversation starter on your fingers.