Garnet comes from the latin word ‘Granatus’ which means grain or grainy. This is due to the formation of the garnet crystals in the host rock. Garnets symbolise healing and strength and are said to protect the wearer. Garnet is the birthstone of January and the stone given for the second wedding anniversary.
Garnets come in a wide spectrum of colours except blue. Some of the varieties include: Pyrope garnets which are purplish red, orange red, crimson or dark red; Uvarovite and Demantoid are rare green varieties. The spectacular colour changing garnets will show a brown green or bronze colour when viewed under natural daylight and appear rose to pink in colour under incandescent or candle light. Garnets are a durable gemstone and rate a 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
The earliest record of wearing garnet jewellery was in the Bronze Age around 3000-3100 BC. In ancient Egypt it was used in amulets and talismans that were buried with the dead to protect them in the afterlife. Garnet jewellery dating to around 2000 BC was found in Sweden and there is evidence that the Greeks and Romans wore garnets in signet rings. It was said that King Solomon wore garnets into battle as he believed they would give him luck in the fight.
Garnets have bejewelled many a royal clothing, including those of Mary Queen of Scots, Queen Victoria and the wives of the Russian Tsars. The imperial Russian jeweller Fabergé created detailed and unique designs specifically for the vivid green Demantoid garnet.
Celebrating a birthday for yourself or a loved one this month? At Berganza we have a range of garnet set jewellery from the ancient, antique and vintage periods. Choose from a wide selection of rings, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, pendants and brooches to secure a one of a kind garnet set piece today.