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GARNET is the birthstone for the month of January. Spessartite garnet was introduced to the world about 200 years ago. It was discovered in the mid 1800's in Spessart, Bavaria. For decades, perhaps the best known spessartite source was the Little Three Mine and Hercules Mine, located in San Diego, California. Once a rare collector's gem, the brilliant orange garnet started to grow in popularity in 1990's, after the discovery of deposits in Namibia and later Nigeria. Today, the Spessartite is one of the most popular of all garnets. It is highly desired by collectors, jewelry designers and gem lovers.

Spessartite garnet belongs to the large and varied mineral group of garnet. Garnet comes from the Latin word "granatus", which means grain, because many garnet deposits are small grains of red crystals in their host rock. The fiery sunny-orange stone is popular for its very good hardness (7.5 Mohs scale) and its brilliance due to its high refractive index. Until the recent discovery mines in Namibia and Mozambique, spessartite garnet was rarely seen in jewelry. Its name is derived from former occurrence in the German "Spessart" forest. Garnet is a January birthstone.

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