For all of those with a January birthday, congratulations from us here at AC Silver! We particularly love January , as it is considered a time for new beginnings and an opportunity to look to the fresh year ahead. Garnet also symbolises the second year of marriage, so if 2017 is your second year as husband and wife, a piece of jewellery incorporating garnet is the perfect gift!
If you were lucky enough to be born in January, then your birthstone is the beautiful Garnet! Garnet is a stone which can be any colour across the entire spectrum, but is usually found in a deep red colour. Garnets are a stone with an incredible history, and have been worn and revered for thousands of years across numerous civilisations. Because of this, garnets have represented and symbolised many virtues and characteristics over time, however they were always predominantly admired for their beauty.
Here at AC Silver, we have a wonderful range of garnet jewellery which is sure to enchant any lover of this vermillion!
The History of Garnet Jewellery
The name ‘Garnet’ is derived from ‘Granatus’- a Latin term which is believed to refer to the pomegranate seeds, as garnets resemble these vibrant, dark red seeds. Garnets were worn by the Ancient Egyptians, the Ancient Romans, The Greeks, and through the medieval ages by royalty and nobility.
Garnet is a durable and hard wearing stone, so much so that there have been pieces of garnet jewellery discovered as far back as the Bronze Age! At one time, Ancient Bohemia (now Czechoslovakia) was so rich of a source for garnets that many churches and castles had their interiors decorated wth garnets, although they were later pillaged and stolen during war.
Garnets became especially popular in Victorian England, which is why there are so many beautiful pieces of antique garnet jewellery available to us today from this period. As most of Victorian Britain practised Christianity, many Victorians believed that the garnet represented the blood of Christ and his sacrifice, and so saw it as an act of faith to wear this stone. The dark red colour of the stone was also a particularly fashionable one, which suited the black, gold and white colour palette which most Victorian clothing and accessories were created in.
The Symbolism of Garnets
Garnets were believed to provide protection for warriors in battle, as well as providing strength and improving healing, specifically reducing inflammations. Other characteristics which have been attributed to the garnet are as varied as improving relationships, encouraging truthfulness and even curing depression – although when considering a large garnet being given as a gift, who couldn’t help but be lifted by the beautiful gemstone?
Garnets long and varied uses in history are largely due to their availability within Europe when we consider that –by comparison- emeralds, rubies and diamonds would have only been discovered in more isolated countries, and possibly in conditions which were more difficult to excavate in during theses ancient eras. Garnets are mentioned in many religious texts, including the bible, the Koran and in ancient Hebrew texts, garnets are noted as one of the gemstones which were in Aaron’s breastplate.
At AC Silver, we love garnets, and have some stunning examples of the more well known deep red garnet, as well as some of the more unusual garnet colours, for those who wish to nod to the birthstone tradition, but may not prefer red gemstone jewellery.
We think garnets are a gemstones which are regarded across the world as being historically significant and are important within many cultures and religions. Not just for those born in January, garnets have an allure which has lasted for thousands of years and across countless civilisations!