The garnet is the birthstone for January. It is a beautiful gem that comes in almost every color except blue. Red garnets are the favorite of many people, and you’ll see garnets set in jewelry alongside pearls and gemstones. Often garnets feature prominently in figural jewelry. A brooch made in the likeness of an animal sometimes has eyes of garnets. Used in this way, the garnet eyes suggest desire and a fiery spirit.
Garnet jewelry makes exquisite accessories for apparel. The garnet necklace or bracelet worn with a pink, beige, yellow, purple, or orange evening gown is a striking sight. Garnets are wonderful over a plaid or print blouse, and they bring out the warmth of a sweater. They blend in richly with fabrics, looking elegant on every fabric from silk to polyester. Garnet earrings accent formal and casual fashions of every style.
A garnet ring speaks of refinement.
Garnets are found all over the world, and they are a delight in every venue in which they appear. They were used as a gem in antiquity, and the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans used them in jewelry and to decorate glasses and bowls.
People have enjoyed gold and garnet cloisonné for hundreds of years. The deep-red garnet stands out as a cabochon or faceted gem. The name “garnet” comes from the Latin word for pomegranate — the color of a garnet gem resembles the pomegranate seed.
Garnets came into fashion in the 18th century and are mentioned in the inventory of the nobility and upper classes. Garnet necklaces were set by designers of diamond jewelry into flower and ribbon designs; later garnets were used in jewelry with geometrical designs. The stones were cut thin and mounted over foil to give them brilliance.
Pyrope is a Greek word meaning “fiery-eyed.” Pyrope garnets were popular from 1860-1900. Most of the pyrope garnets were mined in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic). They are often cut as a brilliant.
A rare variety of garnet is the demantoid, which is emerald green in color and has a diamond-like luster. Demantoid gems are usually small, about one carat. Its name is from the Dutch word demant meaning diamond. It was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1868. The designers Faberge and Tiffany’s of New York have made fine jewelry using demantoid garnets, and collectors highly value these garnets.
Garnets also make excellent beads. There are also imitation garnets made of rhinestones or glass for shoppers on a limited budget so that everyone can capture some of the great charm of garnet jewelry.
Ruby Lane has a wonderful assortment of garnet jewelry. Whether you are looking to spice up your wardrobe with garnets or you intend to add beauty and value to a collection of fine jewelry, you’ll find it all here.
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