January and February can be dark, grey months, but their birthstones - garnet and amethyst respectively - are full of colour and vitality.

Ranging in colour from a deep blood red to a much more delicate pinkish tone, the firey garnet has been used in jewellery for thousands of years. It is frequently found in Saxon and Celtic designs, possibly because it is traditionally thought to protect the wearer from harm. The gem is also associated with love and friendship, and the gift of a garnet is a beautiful symbolic gesture. 

The amethyst also occurs in a variety of tones, from a very pale lilac right through to the deepest purple. There are also green variations. It is traditionally connected with calm, healing, and spirituality, and was widely used in healing amulets. Because Valentine's Day falls in February, the gem is associated with love, and the saint was said to wear an amethyst ring.

Colour photograph composed of four shots. Two are earrings, two pendants. All are in the form of silver leaves with amethyst and garnet bead berries

I often use gemstones in my designs, and both garnets and amethysts can be seen here in my silver leaf and berry pendant and earrings. They're in my shop and ready to ship now.