As far back as 3100BC- Garnets-January Birthstone

 

Most folks don’t realize, (I am referring to many in the “jewelry” industry) they don’t know that Garnet comes in many different colors.

From dark red to deep pink to golden orange to apple green…

The garnet is so durable, remnants of garnet jewelry can be found as far back as the Bronze Age. Other references go back to 3100 BC when the Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewelry and carvings. The Egyptians even said it was the symbol of life. The garnet was very popular with the Romans in the 3rd and 4th Century.

All species of garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms but differ in chemical composition. The different species are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular (varieties of which are hessonite or cinnamon-stone and tsavorite), uvarovite and andradite.

Hardness:

Because

Because the chemical composition of garnet varies, the atomic bonds in some species are stronger than in others. As a result, this mineral group shows a range of hardness on the Mohs scale of about 6.5 to 7.5.

This gemstone was also used as a talisman for protection both by warriors going into battle and to those who wanted to ward off pestilence and plague. Some ancient healers and wise men even placed garnets in wounds and praised its healing powers.

Garnet jewelry has been a fixture throughout the ages. Garnets were often used as signet rings in ancient Rome, and the nobility favored garnets in the Middle Ages.

The Victorians made garnets very popular during that time period. Some of the loveliest garnet jewelry from that era mimics its pomegranate namesake, with clusters of tiny red gems forming a larger statement piece

Garnets
Group of garnets showing the broad color range in the species and varieties.

Published by Peter Lopez

Peter is a lifelong student of art with a particular passion for jewelry, vintage European cars, movies, books, and history.

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