Friday, October 29, 2010

A Garnet Story

As I do not have any new beads or jewellery to show today,  I have decided to write about the semi- precious stone, garnet.

My maternal grandmother's first name was Garnet. My mother's name was Garnet and my oldest daughter's middle name is Garnet.

I grew up captivated by the name and the stone from which my female relatives were named.
There are many jewellery pieces with garnets in them in my family. One was combined with rubies, others with diamonds. Simpler pieces stood alone with gold or silver.

For many years, I believed that garnets only came in dark red.  Red is the most common colour,  however garnets can come in many different shades of red from almost black to bright red.

I now also know that garnets can come in a variety of colours: brown, black, orange, red, green and even a rare blue-green. There are also stones which change colour depending on whether they are in sunlight or seen in artificial light.

In history, garnet was said to be a gem of "faith and truth".
It was believed to be medicinally powerful, used as a remedy for inflammatory diseases, to help cure liver complaints, and to aid in the cessation of haemorrhage.  It was also believed to cure depression.
In medieval times many believed that wearing garnet would protect against bad dreams, wounds and poison.

Garnets have been found in jewellery from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times.
Garnets were found as beads in a necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000bc. This indicates the strength and durability of the stone. ( it has a hardness factor of 7-7.5 on the mohs scale)

In more recent times, it is said to be the birthstone for the month of January.

Just this week, a cousin purchased a new garnet and diamond ring to replace one that had been lost.
There is such a strong link between the name of the stone and the name of our beloved relatives that any piece of garnet jewellery will always evoke a fond memory or two,  often leading to an interesting discussion.
And that is always good.

I think I now may need to go and buy a garnet ring or bracelet or necklace.......!!



Photo Acknowledgements:
- Ring from Westonjewelry
- Cut stones from Silverjoyce

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