The garnet comes in a variety of shapes as it does in colors. As the gemstone that is the listed on the traditional as well as on the modern birthstone list as the January birthstone, many believe it to signify friendship and trust. Giving this gemstone to a friend at the beginning of the year can only mean that you are heralding in a wonderful friendship along with the New Year. It is commonly believed that red is the color for a garnet however green, orange, yellow and pink are also common as far as this January birthstone goes. The garnet has often been confused with a few other gemstones because of this color variation that it has. The red garnet gets mistaken for a ruby while the green garnet gets confused with the emerald.
There are certain factors that need to be taken into consideration when choosing gemstones. The first and the most obvious is the color. Commonly people consider a gemstone to be of more value the darker the color is but this is in fact, not true. The richer, more vivid and brighter the color, the better the gem is considered to be. When considering buying a garnet as the January birthstone, it is important to observe how the gemstone reacts under different kinds of light. Daylight might bring out a different hue in the gem as opposed to the color that artificial light might reflect. The preferred garnet is one that has a basic color that is intense and saturated with a clear medium tone. The second factor to consider is clarity. In general terms clarity refers to the cut of a particular gem. The cut has the ability to enhance or diminish the true beauty of a stone so opt for one that enhances its beauty to the maximum. The clarity of a garnet is largely dependent on the type of garnet. Examples of this are the Demantoid that has inclusions that are called horsetails that are clearly visible to the eye while the Hessonite garnet regularly has a turbulent look about it.
A well cut January birthstone should reflect light evenly across the surface area when the light bounces off the face of the gem. If your gem is shallow and wide it might appear lifeless while a narrow and deep gem comes across as having dark areas. You obviously want to find a January birthstone that reflects light perfectly off the whole surface of the gem but that is, of course, up to you and your choice in clarity. Two other factors affecting gemstones are carat or weight of the stone as well as perception. Carat does not always mean the size of a stone but rather how heavy it is. Perception goes hand in hand with pricing. Some January birthstones cost less purely because they are easier to come or are of a lesser known variety. Perception is how we perceive the gemstone. No matter how you perceive this gem, it is one that is beautiful regardless.