January’s birthstone is garnet, which most people think of as a deep red gem.
But, as I pointed out in this post from last year’s Tucson gem show, garnet comes in a range of colors, with different names for different varieties. The garnets I used in the studs pictured above are rhodolite. In Tucson, I got samples of yellowish grossular, green tsavorite, orange spessartite garnet, as well as rhodolite.
My amethyst Marie Antoinette ring with tsavorites has the same setting as the onyx skull, just flipped upside down.
My Marie Antoinette earrings have 202 tsavorites per earring. I had to have them custom cut to the right size. I also had the amethyst custom cut.
When I redesigned my own pearl pendant, I used tsavorite in the setting.
Later, I made a matching pair of pearl and tsavorite cufflinks as a birthday gift for MrB.
Even when I’m not doing a design that’s heavy on tsavorite, I like to get a few in. The Empress Wu dragon earrings have tsavorite eyes. Being a green-eyed monster isn’t always a bad thing!
This custom-made tiger ring has tsavorite eyes too.
This year, I’d love to do a design with orange spessartite, which is also called mandarin garnet. I don’t have anything in mind at the moment, but every time I see this stone, I practically drool. If I go to the Tucson gem show next month, I’m sure I’ll find an inspiring spessartite.
If you want your own special garnet design, holla at me at info at wendybrandes dot com!