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Garnets - Gems of the Anglo Saxon Royals

Updated on January 10, 2015

Anglo Saxon Gold + Garnet Work and a Garnet Crystal

Anglo Saxon Hilt Fitting - Anglo Saxon Hoard portableantiquities This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_portableantiquities_-_Hilt_Fitting.jpg
Anglo Saxon Hilt Fitting - Anglo Saxon Hoard portableantiquities This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license. Details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Flickr_-_portableantiquities_-_Hilt_Fitting.jpg

Falling in Love with Royal Garnets

I fell in love with garnets ~ the beautiful rich red ones ~ during my teens, when I found some in the rocks in Scotland.

Then I fell in love with them all over again, while I was at University, when I discovered the beautiful gold and garnet jewellery and artwork of the Anglo Saxons.

The garnet is a hard-wearing 'silicate mineral' gemstone.

Known as a nesosilicate, there are a number of different varieties, and many have different colours ~ though the red garnet is probably the most well-known.

Garnets have a high refractive index, which can result in a beautiful high brilliance.


Garnet Symbolism

For some people, the blood red colour of the most popular shade of garnet is associated with sacrifice ~ the passion of Christ; for others, it represents a different kind of passion.

For those who believe in the healing power of crystals, it is a symbol of the life force, considered to be helpful to promote vitality, stamina and well-being.

It may also symbolise devotion and fidelity. It is considered to be a 'lucky' stone.


Pomegranate

Pomegranate - by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos - not in public domain. More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pomegranate03_edit.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License
Pomegranate - by Fir0002/Flagstaffotos - not in public domain. More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pomegranate03_edit.jpg http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GNU_Free_Documentation_License

'Garnet' Etymology

The name 'garnet' may be related to the word 'pomegranate'.

It joined the English vocabulary, from Latin, via Middle Dutch and Old French. 'Pomum granatum' was the Latin name for a pomegranate.

'Pomum' meant 'apple' and 'granatum' referred to all the little grain-like seeds. 'Granatum' came to mean 'dark red in colour'.

Thus 'garnet' describes the bright shiny red quality of this gem, which may look like the beautiful seeds of the pomegranate fruit.

'Pomegranate Opened' + 'Garnet Pendant'

 'Pomegranate Opened' by SriniG + 'Garnet Pendant' from Amazon.com Collection
'Pomegranate Opened' by SriniG + 'Garnet Pendant' from Amazon.com Collection

Garnets have held a special place in people's hearts for many years.

It would appear that, towards the end of the 5th century, a workshop existed, possibly in Constantinople, which specialised in garnet jewelry. These garnets have often been found mounted in gold rings. Some might be decorated with doves and other creatures, while others are engraved with Christian imagery, such as Jesus the Christ, the Virgin Mary and the Christian cross.

Garnet items have even been found from the Bronze Age.


'Pomegranate Seeds' + 'Pear Garnet Ring'

'Pomegranate Seeds' by Pschemp + 'Pear Garnet Ring' from 'Jewels For Me' at Amazon.
'Pomegranate Seeds' by Pschemp + 'Pear Garnet Ring' from 'Jewels For Me' at Amazon.

Rhodolite

Rhodolite is one of more than ten gemstones, which are chemically similar, and which are officially classified as garnets.

Rhodolite is a type of garnet, which is a mixture of almandine and pyrope. Although it may be considered red in colour, it has pinkish or purplish undertones.

Rhodolite is a very popular variety of this stone. Purplish ones are particularly well-loved.

The name 'rhodolite' comes from the rosy pink colouration.

Pinkish rhodolites can be mistaken for rubies.

Garnets Online

Garnets are beautiful semi-precious gemstones, which can be purchased inexpensively online.

They come in a range of colors, but the red ones are particularly attractive and rich-looking ~ as well as being some of the cheaper stones.

The reddish pink ones ~ rhodolite ~ are also very lovely and could compete with rubies for beauty.

Garnet and Ruby

Though garnets come in other colours, the red ones are special, in my opinion, and so inexpensive that one can treat oneself to the gems of the Anglo-Saxon royals, without paying a king’s ransom! You can spend as little or as much as you choose, in order to feel like a princess from history.

To my mind, they are more delicately beautiful than rubies, yet they often cost only a fraction of the price. Certainly I prefer them.

I like them set in gold ~ as the Anglo-Saxons set theirs ~ but they look beautiful in a silver setting, too.

Birthstones - Special Gifts

The garnet is the birthstone for January. Thus it is related to Capricorn.

However, the garnet is also believed to be associated with the Aquarius constellation.

There are a variety of hues to choose from ~ not just red ~ so, if given as a present, the favourite colour may be chosen.

Look no further for gifts for January births or January birthdays.

A garnet item would also make a lovely new baby gift for a child born under the star sign Capricorn ~ or even Aquarius (and kept until it was safe to hand it over, of course!).


Anniversaries + Betrothals

Because the garnet represents faithfulness, this gem is particularly fitting when set in a ring ~ the symbol of eternity ~ and given to one's life partner.

Garnets are often chosen as a gift for the second wedding anniversary ~ or, by some, for the sixth.

Fidelity and eternity ~ together forever!

It could also make an ideal engagement or betrothal ring.

I have a beautiful gold and garnet eternity ring.

10k Yellow Gold Filigree Design Rhodolite Garnet Bracelet + Ring

Pomegranate Opened

Pomegranate opened - taken by SriniG. Published under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pomegranate_opened.jpg
Pomegranate opened - taken by SriniG. Published under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. More details here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pomegranate_opened.jpg

Garnet Pendant

18k Yellow Gold Plated Sterling Silver Garnet Pendant, 18" by Amazon.com Collection
18k Yellow Gold Plated Sterling Silver Garnet Pendant, 18" by Amazon.com Collection

Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranate Seeds - Author Pschemp. Published under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pomseeds2.jpg
Pomegranate Seeds - Author Pschemp. Published under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Pomseeds2.jpg

Pear Garnet Ring

14K White Gold Genuine Pear Garnet Ring - By Jewels For Me From Amazon
14K White Gold Genuine Pear Garnet Ring - By Jewels For Me From Amazon

Comments

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    • Trish_M profile imageAUTHOR

      Tricia Mason 

      8 years ago from The English Midlands

      I agree! It's beautiful.

    • profile image

      jewelllery channel 

      8 years ago

      the garnet ring looks great...

    working

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