PRIMARY: GARNET - "The stone of devotion and passion"
Garnet is the primary January birthstone. As a semi-precious gemstone a garnet's hardness level measures between 6.0 and 7.5 on Moh's hardness scale.
What many people don't know is that garnets are actually a whole family of gemstones. The classic deep red garnet, or almandine, is the traditional birthstone; however, they can be orange or yellow in color like spessarite and hessonite and even green like grossular and uvarovite.
Stemming from the Latin word granatus, it is believed the name "garnet" is a reference to the red seeds of the pomegranate. Although relatively inexpensive, high-quality garnets are very brilliant, and can withstand a fair amount of wear and tear.
Alternate: Rose Quartz - "The stone of warmth and love"
As an ornamental to semi-precious gemstone, the rose quartz, alternative January birthstone, measures a hardness level of 7. The vast majority of rose quartzes are translucent, milky stones of only of low to moderate value. Of the few that might be considered semi-precious gemstones are the rare, clear stones, often used in cocktail rings and the like. These semi-precious stones are sometimes called pink quartz instead of rose quartz.