Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Garnet Flowers ✿ January Birthstone made Beautiful!

History of Garnets

If you break open a pomegranate and see the tiny glossy red seeds, you can understand why the word garnet comes from the Latin word "granatus" which originated when garnet grains in rock were compared to the dark red seeds of the pomegranate fruit. To the ancient world, garnet was a tiny glossy red gem, bursting with fire and brilliance. Garnets are formed in nature when high temperatures and/or pressure are factors. It can be transparent to opaque and has a specific gravity between 3.4 and 4.3. Garnets have been used as gemstones in jewelry for thousands of years.


Color

Even though people tend to think of a garnet as a blood red gemstone, it actually occurs in every color except blue. The varieties are named for their color with names such as rhodolite (purplish red), hessonite (orange, cinnamon, or pinkish variety) and tsavorite (dark green) etc.


Location of mines

These gemstones are found in the Arizona, Australia, Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Burma, Scotland, Switzerland and Tanzania. Unfortunately, many garnets mined are not of sufficient quality to be used in fine jewelry.

Birthstone

The garnet is the gemstone for those born in January and is also that associated with the Zodiac sign Aquarius. It is often given as a gift for the second or 6th wedding anniversary.



Folklore and Legends

In a metaphysical sense, the garnet has a long folk lore history tied to it. It is thought to have powers that affect healing, strength, and protection. It is often worn to relieve inflammations of the skin, and is believed to regulate the heart and blood flow and aid in curing depression. In earlier times, garnets were often exchanged as gifts as a show of their affection for each other. It has been said that King Solomon wore a large red garnet as well as eleven other gems (representing the 12 steps of Jacob's Ladder) in his breast plate to help him win battles. In the 13th century, they were worn to repel insects and evil spirits and in Egyptian times they were said to have been taken into the tombs with the dead as payment to the gods.

Use of Garnets in Vintage Jewelry

Because garnets have been mined for such a long time, they were used extensively in vintage jewelry during the Victorian ages through to the early 20th century. Formerly the stones were cut with a flat back cabochon style, but today they are normally faceted either step cut or mixed cut. Garnets were often cut into thin slices and inlaid, as in cloisonne inlay. When red garnets were mounted in Anglo-Saxon jewelry or Victorian jewelry, they were usually backed with gold or silver foil for added brilliance and shine.


Get my Garnet Flowers Earrings in my shop!

6 comments:

BeadedTail said...

Pretty earrings Amanda! I enjoyed reading all about the garnet. It was my grandma's birthstone so has always been a special stone to me.

Anonymous said...

Great blog post Amanda! I LOVE garnets!!!
Michelle

Tigerlily Studio said...

What a neat article Amanda! I love garnets and wear them often but never knew to much about them. What gorgeous earrings you've made!

Sewinggranny - Mona said...

Very interesting article, Amanda..and your garnet earrings are beautiful!

CBLandCO. Jewelry And Gifts said...

Great, informative post Amanda!
Love the garnet earrings :)

zafran said...

Thank,s for post a great information i really like it nice blog.Send gifts to Pakistan

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