Gemstone of the Month: Garnet

January 06, 2016 Allison Bray

Photo by Kai Schreiber
Garnets are gorgeous mineral gemstones that have been worn in jewellery since the Bronze Age. The most popular garnets are a glorious dark red which explains how the gem got their name. It’s thought to have been derived from the Latin word pomum granatum, meaning pomegranate. After all, pomegranate seeds are the same rich red!
Red garnets were the most commonly used gemstone in the latter years of the Roman empire. It was also very popular in Anglo Saxon England and was often used inlaid in gold. 
One of the reason these gemstones have been so well loved for so much of human history is because they reflect light so beautifully. It was once believed that a garnet had the power to light up the night and there are stories of many weary travellers carrying them on long journeys. 

Worn best with… 

Vintage lovers will adore the way red garnet looks with gold. This is the traditional way to wear the gemstone and we must say it’s very hard to beat. That said, contemporary jewellery fans are more likely to choose to pair their garnets with silver or platinum which can also look stunning.

Best suited to… 

Garnets are a versatile stone that lend themselves well to being dressed up or down. They’re often seen as part of more extravagant formal pieces, but work just as well in more understated every day jewellery.

Famous Garnets… 

Thanks to the light reflecting properties of garnets, there are biblical stories of Noah using a garnet lantern to help steer his ark to dry land.
Jackie Kennedy Onassis owned an unusual cabochon garnet brooch in the shape of a flower. It was auctioned as part of a collection of her belongings in 1996 and sold for almost £100,000.

More inspiration…

Garnet and Labradorite Double Necklace, Garnet and Silver Tension Ring, Flame Ring Polished Silver with Garnet Cabachon, Raven Pendant, Raven on Branch Earrings and Fern and Stag Pendant.

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