Israeli Jewelry - Israel Gifts
Garnet - Gem of Light and Guidance
Garnet, one of the oldest gemstones in human history, dates back to the Bronze Age. Garnets are known worldwide for their intense deep red color.
The shape of a Garnet resembles a rounded grain, and it derives its name from the Latin word “granum”, meaning grain, or “granatus”, meaning pomegranate, since its dark red stones resemble the seeds of a pomegranate. Garnet is known to be the birthstone of the month of January, and is traditionally associated with the 11:00 am hour of the day.
Although modern days Garnets come mostly from Africa, these gemstones were popular thousands of years ago around the world. Folklore stories tell us that Noah used a Garnet lantern in order to navigate his ark through the night. Primitive cultures have used Garnets to stop bleeding and cure inflammation, and Asian and North American tribes used Garnets as bullets, believing it would inflict fatal wounds.
Garnet was also one of the twelve stones that adorned the breastplate of the high priest Aaron (Exodus 39). Garnet later has stood for the tribe of Judah, one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. Ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans have all worn Garnet jewelry, as well. It was widely believed that Garnets are powerful talismans, as they protected travelers at night by lighting up their ways and chasing away evil.
Garnets were highly popular in Europe, in 18th and 19th centuries. They were frequently used for jewelry in the Victorian times, and Bohemian Garnets, from the former Kingdom of Bohemia 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 today, 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.
In Greek mythology, a pomegranate is referenced as a gift of love and is associated with eternity. Nowadays, Garnet remains as a gift of love and is traditionally given for the 19th anniversary of marriage. It may also be used as a gift for two-year and six-year anniversaries. Moreover, Garnet is symbolic of a quick return and separated love, since Hades had given a pomegranate to Persephone before she left him to ensure her speedy return. Therefore, Garnet may be given to a beloved before embarking on a trip, as it is believed to heal the broken bonds of lovers.
Today, the brilliant shine of Garnet can be explained by their high refraction of light. Garnets are sturdy and quite resistant to any wear and tear, making them an excellent choice for any jewelry. Garnet’s brilliance and unaltered natural beauty makes it easy to see why this gemstone has remained a popular choice for so many centuries.