Garnets are a group of silicate minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. All species of garnets possess similar physical properties and crystal forms, but differ in chemical composition. The different species are pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, uvarovite and andradite.
Garnet is the for January and the stone . The name “garnet” comes from the Latin word “Garanatus,” meaning “seedlike,” in reference to a pomegranate. This reference makes sense as small garnets look like the bright red seeds you find inside in a pomegranate. The garnet has been a popular gem throughout history. Garnets were found as beads in a necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000 B.C. This is proof of the hardness and durability of the stone.
The King of Saxony is said to have had a garnet of over 465 carats. Plato had his portrait engraved on a garnet by a Roman engraver. Bohemia, now a part of Czechoslovakia, was once a tremendous source of garnet, and at one time, cutting, polishing, and mounting garnets was a very rich industry in that country. Many Bohemian castles and churches had magnificent interiors decorated with garnet. Bohemian garnets are famous even today, known for their small but beautiful stones set close to each other resembling a pomegranate. Garnet jewelry is still found in the Czech Republic, with the stones still arranged in the traditional, tightly joined way. This ensures that the attraction of the classical Garnet pieces is caused only by the beauty of its stones. The
were also fond of garnets. Their jewelry was set with garnets mounted in many forms.