Garnets Through The Ages
Garnets are beautiful stones, that have been prized and made scared by many different civilizations throughout the world and throughout the ages.
Usually thought of as being a deep red, but can also come in lighter reds and pinks. Garnets come in almost every colour apart from blue, they are said to also colour change, the hues are meant to change with danger approaching.
The uses are as varied as their colour, from ornate jewellery and ornaments to a special sandpaper and have even been used as bullets.
They make lovely engagement rings as they bring purity and truth, they inspire love and are a symbol of love and compassion.
The French use the word as a girls name, which means "Keeper of the Grain"
The name is said to have come from the Latin for pomegranate seed because of the colour of the red garnets. But it is also said to have come from the word granatus meaning grain. Garnets have also been known as carbuncle, which means 'live coals' again because of the fiery red of garnets.
It is also said that the discovery of garnets mean that there are diamonds nearby!
Uses and Beliefs
The Egyptians used lots of coloured stones, they used mainly blue, but garnets were found in the tombs of the Egyptians as they used the beautiful rich red garnets for Isis, as it represented her need for blood.
Garnets were found in a tomb in El-Lahun in a stunning necklace of Stihathoriune
Garnets were used as a protective stone or worn as an amulet to defend against poisons, the Egyptians also believed garnets to be an antidote for snake bites.
Used As Bullets
Asia and the American South West used garnet to make bullets, it was said that they caused greater wounds, that took longer to heal and cut through the skin better. These bullets were used up to the 19th Century.
The King of Kashmir is said to have used garnet bullets against the British also in 19th Century, although this seems not to have been proved.
The crusaders carried garnet as it was thought to be a warrior stone and protect the wearer against defeat. Garnet was also set into the armer so as to 'lead back to safety' beautiful gold crosses with garnets set into them were carried to protect the crusaders. Garnet was carried by both the Christians and the Muslims as a talisman at this time to protect them on their travels
The Romans mostly used garnets as gemstones set in gold and made it into rings, necklaces and other jewellery worn by men, women and children.
Garnet was widely used in Medieval times, they made ornate crosses, rings and necklaces from the deep red stone. A regal gold and garnet cross was found in a grave of a young girl buried about 1,300 years ago in England.
In Italy garnets are worn by widows as a grieving stone to give comfort to their loss. They are also worn by ladies who want to attract love and male attention.
Czechoslovakian garnets have been mined in the Bohemian mountains for over 600 years, and produce a wonderful deep red fiery garnet, they make the beautiful bohemian jewellery, which have adorned the Russian Tzarinas in the 18th and 19th Century. Bohemian jewellery is still sort after today.
The first French King had garnets made into jewellery using the Cloisonne technique, which is metal work inlaid with stones for a very decorative piece. They also used this technique to decorate the handles of daggers and swards with garnets and other gems.
Victorian England and Scotland loved the garnet, and used it to make beautiful and ornate jewellery, necklaces, rings, brooches, hair decorations, or inlaid into gold to make items such as boxes for snuff or jewels. Victorian jewellery is very feminine and the rich red garnets look lovely made into the very decorative pieces.
The Celtic people prized garnet for their jewellery and set it mainly in Silver,but also gold, the stone was and still is used to make rings, pendents, bracelets, earring and many more. The Celtic style is still widely sort after today and makes lovely pieces for men and women. Often the stones are made into hexagonal shapes or heart shaped set in rings to be given to someone you love.
From Industry to Jewellery
Garnet sand is used in the water jet industry for precision cutting of steel and in the making of glass lenses. It is very fine sand and used for very fine cutting and polishing. This sand is mainly found and manufactured in India and Australia. Garnet sand has been mined for around 200 years in India.
There is also a garnet sandpaper, which is used for woodwork, metal work and leather work.
The sandpaper is for very fine delicate work and works well with soft woods for finishing to a nice smooth finish. As well as soft metal and fine leather work.
Garnets are also used in the making of watches as well as very attractive jewellery that is not too costly and looks good with silver or gold. It looks striking with white pearls or diamonds.
Healing Properties and Meaning
Garnets have been used all over the world in healing and folk lore for centuries.
They are said to protect the traveler and to bring them safely back home, alert the wearer to danger by changing colour and light the way home, as with the garnet lantern, Noah is said to have had to guide the Ark in the darkness of the night.
The red garnet is said to bring love to the wearer and inspires devotion, balancing sex drive, and alleviating emotional upset. It is the stone of commitment between people, so it is good as an engagement ring or just for someone who you love and are committed to.
They are said to bring courage and hope to the wearer in hopeless situations, it is the stone to turn to in a crisis. Opens the heart and bringing self confidence.
Garnets are said to regenerate the body, stimulating metabolism. Purifies and energizes the blood, heart and lungs.
If placed on the forehead it is said to help with past life recall
Garnets are also said to be beneficial with inflammations of the skin
They bring good luck if given as a gift, but bad luck if stolen
The various colours of garnets are said to have different qualities too.
For example the Grossularite garnet, which can be yellow, brown or sometimes green, is said to be useful during challenges and lawsuits, and is meant to help with arthritis and rheumatism.
Rhodolite garnet is a rose pink, is a warm and trusting stone, sincere, and stimulates metabolism, intuition and inspiration.
They are the birthstone of January, and the zodiac stones for Capricorn, Aquarius, Leo and Virgo.
Garnet and Me!
I adore garnets, I have a garnet engagement ring, I love the meaning of true commitment and love that is strong and will last, that we will always meet again if separated, garnets will bring us back together.
I have earrings, necklaces, rings and brooches, I truly love the colour, also they are not expensive and look good set in gold or silver. They look striking with pearls as the deep red and the white pearls compliment each other perfectly.
A few years ago I had to go to court quite a lot, and always carried a garnet in my pocket, wore a garnet necklace and earring, i was not going to leave any room for misjustice!. I don't know if it helped really, but, it helped me, I would hold the stone while having to speak, no one could see it, but I found it comforting at the time.
I am born in January and a capricorn, so it is also my birthstone. It is my favorite gem.
Garnet JewelleryClick thumbnail to view full-size
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