Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Garnet: The January Birthstone

Did you know that the garnet was named after a fruit? The ancient Greeks thought that garnets looked like the seeds of the pomegranate - thus, garnet! In the Bible, garnet is mentioned fairly often, usually called carbuncle.
The Victorians were especially fond of garnets and mixed them often with pearls, opals, coral, cameos, and one of my favorite combinations, turquoise. But they were passionate about Bohemian garnets (from Czechoslovakia)set in gold with an entire piece encrusted with small and medium garnets glittering around a larger focal.
I love garnets because I consider them a neutral when they are a deep, dark red. They look great with black - and really blend with almost any other colour you can wear. I mention that I like the deep, dark red because garnets come in almost every colour except blue! They are also fun to create with because they mix so interestingly with other gemstones and other jewelry materials.
Above, for a more modern, artisan look, I've mixed garnets with artist's lampwork beads that have a touch of light blue in them; I love those flat, faceted garnet nuggets and recently was fortunate enough to find some (pretty large garnets can be difficult to find in bead form). I've used the same faceted garnet nuggets in the next garnet bracelet with flat, faceted citrine nuggets, charms, and some repousse sterling silver.

Above, a garnet bracelet where the garnets serve as a foil for the sterling silver, especially the sterling silver chains of different sizes. An interesting toggle clasp, a special oval ring in silver, and a hanging circle of garnets make this bracelet special.
Below, garnets playing well with others: the first bracelet features rose quartz and a special toggle clasp with garnet cabochons embedded in the ends of the toggle bar; the next garnet bracelet mixes with creamy coloured mother of pearl, dangling charms around the bracelet and a pretty butterfly toggle clasp. All garnet bracelets here are mixed with sterling silver.
Below are two more bracelets new to the Cluny Grey Jewelry site. The first, a freshwater pearl bracelet, the second is an aquamarine bracelet mixed with freshwater Biwa pearls.Don't forget to make your New Year's Resolutions!

1 comment:

Marie Cramp said...

Those are wonderful! Garnets have always been close to my heart, it is my mother's birthstone. I always love to give my mom some jewelry, because she never got any from my dad. She looks lovely in garnets :)