“The garnet is a red gem, but not like the ruby, its red is much more like that of a flame … It forms far in the east … If correctly cut and polished it will reveal all its beauty and perfection.” – Aristotle, ca. 322 B.C.
The word garnet is derived from the Greek word “granatum” which means “pomegranate seed” reflecting the shape and color of the crystals. Garnet gemstones have been used in jewelry and other ways for thousands of years. According to the ancient Jewish text the Talmud, a garnet provided the only source of light on Noah’s Ark. In antiquity, garnets were popular gemstones and were considered equal to rubies in beauty. Garnet jewelry has been found in Egyptian, Roman, and Greek ruins.
Pendant in 14k white gold with a cabochon garnet surrounded by 0.1ctw in round brilliant cut diamonds, priced at $825.
Thousands of years ago, red garnet necklaces adorned the necks of Egypt’s pharaohs, and were entombed with their mummified corpses as prized possessions for the afterlife. Ancient Egyptians considered garnets to be the most powerful gemstone around. The color, resembling blood and the rising sun, made for a important amulet to ward off demons and misfortune.
Stud drop earring with cultured pearls at stud and emerald cut garnets weighing 6.07ctw – 14k yellow gold and available for $1950.
The Romans frequently used garnets for engraving; several fine specimens of Imperial portraits, including those of the emperors, came to us this way. Ancient Romans also used signet rings with carved garnets to stamp the wax that secured important documents. In India and throughout the far east it was known as an amulet against poison. The gem was often worn to attract health, as well as for protection against lightning.
Garnet engraving of a Ptolemaic king during the Hellenistic period (175-25 BC) made in Alexandria (Egypt).
During the Middle Ages it was used as a remedy for the plague, or the Black Death, and inflammatory diseases. Garnets were also worn to confer constancy, fidelity, and cheerfulness to its rightful wearers. It was said to cause discord amongst those that had no right to it by birth. Like the Ruby, the garnet warned its owner of approaching danger and trouble by changing its color. Garnets were also a very popular keepsake between friends when parting.
Sterling silver circle ring with round garnet bezel set in 14k yellow gold, size 6 and priced at $400.
Many people associate garnets with the color red, but they actually come in a variety of colors. They are only rivaled by tourmaline when it comes to color options. The only color garnets haven’t been found in, is blue. Garnets have become a favorite of high end jewelry designers. They are considered to be one of the most interesting and complex gem species in nature, consisting of more than ten different gemstones of very similar chemical makeups. All of the different garnet gemstones offer excellent hardness, between 6 and 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Garnets also have an amazingly high refractive index. Tsavorite garnets can rival the finest emeralds, and the fiery brilliance of a spessartite garnet can be compared to the most beautiful sunsets.
Ring in 18k white gold with a 0.65ct spessatite garnet atop a square halo and band with diamonds weighing 0.32ctw. Size 6.5 and $1525.
Garnet is formed in a variety of metamorphic and igneous rock formations. The best quality gems are usually found in alluvial deposits (material found by rivers). All garnets have essentially the same crystal structure, but they vary in chemical composition. There are more than twenty garnet species, but only five are commercially important gems. Those five are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossula, and andradite. A sixth, uvarovite, is a green garnet that usually occurs as crystals too small to cut. It’s sometimes set as clusters in jewelry. Many garnets are chemical mixtures of two or more garnet species. Because there are so many different categories, they are found in a lot of different places. The major sources of garnet are found in Mozambique, India, Brazil, Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Namibia, Nigeria, Madagascar, Russia, and even California and North Carolina here in the U.S.
Tropical flower 18k yellow gold stud earrings with bezel set tsavorite garnets available for $750.
One of garnet’s best known attributes is its role in creating success in business. Many believe that placing three or more garnets in your work space will jump start your business. This attribute is given to all garnets, but is deemed especially powerful in spessartine garnets. Garnets are attributed with positive outcomes to lawsuits and are known to help turn dreams into reality, because they attract prosperity and abundance.
Pear shaped stud earrings in 14k yellow gold weighing 1.89ctw and $320.
Garnets are stones of love and passion, they are known to balance all aspects of intimacy and love, the emotional, spiritual, and physical. Part of what garnet does for relationships is it creates an energy of positive commitment and devotion. It boosts loyalty, love, honesty and compassion. It re-energizes a relationship and/or friendship with hope and faithfulness. It helps someone to see a person for who they truly are, and helps bring about emotional harmony to all who come in contact with its energy. Legend says that garnet can help a mourning widow find new love.
Necklace in 18k white gold with five bezel set round tsavorite garnets and three bezel set round brilliant cut diamonds (weighing 0.05ctw) along the chain, accompanied by a teardrop pendant with pave set round tsavorite garnets. The tsavorite garnets have a weight of 1.15ctw and the necklace is priced at $1,400.
Garnets should be kept in a soft cloth or padded container, separately from other hard stones. As for cleaning, they should be washed in warm sudsy water with a tightly wound microfiber cloth. Steam cleaning should be avoided.
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