Garnet & Almandine

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The little romantic description of the gemstone garnet is the classification in minerals of the ‘silicates and germanites’. However, in the following it should be reported only on the fascinating effect and meaning of the garnets in the antique jewellery production. Already in Ancient Greece and in the Roman Empire, garnet was worn as jewellery. In the Middle Ages the popularity and spreading of the garnet continued under the term ‘Carbuncle stone’. For us antique jewellery traders the most important era of the garnet jewellery lies in the central European phenomenon Historicism.

In this transition period of the Biedermeier period to the Art nouveau, gigantic amounts of garnets were mined in Bohemia. The jewellery traditionally set with many small stones was estimated far across the European borders and helped this ‚traditional jewellery‘ to international reputation. The ‚gemstone of the man in the street‘, as the garnet was cleverly called in Historicism, determined the way of dressing and decorating in the 2nd half of the 19th century in the German-speaking area. Still today antique jewellery with the seal of ‚Bohemian garnet’enjoys immense popularity even today. The masterly compositions in silver or tombac settings (partially gold-plated) are considered as art-historically valuable. The stone is affectionately called ‚fire eye of Bohemia‘. Its passionate red captivates from the first glance. The inner fire of this stone was estimated as an apotropaic force by researchers and travellers already in ancient Egypt.

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