January's birthstone is the garnet, and while most people are familiar with the common rich red color of garnets, they do come in a variety of colors--green, orange, yellow brown, pink . Some of the other classifications for garnets would be pyrope, almandine, spessartite, demantoid.
The word garnet means "seed-like" and comes from the latin name 'Granatus".
Garnet jewelery can be worn everyday because they have a hardness of 7 - 7 1/2 on the Mohs Scale of Hardness.
When purchasing garnet jewellery, color will determine the value of the gem. The brighter the gem, the higher the price. Also, make sure that the stone is clear with not many inclusions--this also affects the value of the stone.
Legend has it that Noah used a garnet for illumination for the arc. As well, when someone wore garnet in the evening, it allowed the wearer to see things that others couldn't see.
Best way to clean garnet is with warm soapy water and a very soft brush.