All posts filed under: Soligems

Garnet, the January birthstone

For thousands of years, garnet has been used for jewellery under the name “red gem” or “carbuncle”. Courageous explorers would travel with garnets because of the popular belief that the stone would illuminate at night and protect them from all kinds of demons. Roman brooches dating from the Merovingian period decorated with garnets are exhibited at the Musée des Antiquités Nationales in Saint-Germain-en-Laye. German philosopher Albert Le Grand (1193-1280) named the stone in reference to the colour of the pomegranate fruit. At that time, they are simply polished to preserve the rough stone. In the 18th and 19th century, garnet jewellery became fashionable, mostly the pyrope garnets, named also Bohemian garnets. The garnet is a family of gems comprising many varieties and different colours ranging from bright green (tsavorite garnet) to reddish brown, yellow, orange and even purple. Only blue is not represented. Particularly interesting is the rhodolite garnet which is a variation of the pyrope garnet in a very attractive purplish-red shade. Rhodolite garnet tends to have a lighter shade than all other red …