Garnet was also worn for protection when traveling, as garnet was believed to warn the wearer of approaching danger. To the Anglo-Saxons, garnet was a cherished treasure.
According to historical accounts, the King of Saxony is said to have owned a garnet of over 465 carats. Garnet was also prominently featured in the magnificent cloisonné inlay jewelry found in sixth and seventh century burials in England at the Anglo-Saxon site of Sutto Hoo, and was also popular with the other peoples of ancient Britannia, including the Celts, Franks, and Normans.Celebrating this cultural and ethnological heritage here is a stunning set of chandelier type sterling silver with ten richly colored dark raspberry red rhodolite garnet faceted gemstones. These are very pretty semi-precious gemstones, with highly a desirable, uncommon, beautiful dark raspberry red hue. The gemstones originated in nineteenth century Norway, and were then hand crafted by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian. The primitively faceted gemstones have been cut into rough briolettes, quite characteristic of the hand cut gemstones of the 18th and 19th centuries and of course far different in character and appearance than contemporary machine cut, computer crafted gemstones. They were originally drilled to fit onto necklaces and bracelets. Siberian winters are long, and these were a handicraft produced during those cold winters.
During the summer months, tremendous quantities of precious and semi-precious gemstones were (and still are) produced in the Ural Mountains of Siberia. In these bitterly cold winters, having accumulated gemstone fragments the byproduct of hand cutting larger garnet gemstones, the chips would be fashioned into these coarsely faceted briolettes, then hand drilled, often by young hands learning their fathers craft. Very common, we managed to accumulate a fair collection of these briolette cut garnets, and fashioned them into various pieces of jewelry, including these chandelier-type sterling silver french gooks, which include sterling silver hooks, chains, and chandeliers.Though the gemstones are antique, the earring findings are contemporary, and are of high-quality USA manufacture. It's a first-class piece of jewelry throughout. There are many other setting styles available which, in sterling silver, could be substituted for either no or nominal extra cost. Please write us, ask, we can send you photos of the various alternative earring styles available. We can also reset the gemstones into 14kt solid gold upon request. Unlike ordinary garnets which have a smoky orange undertone, rhodolite garnets possess a rich, vibrant, bright, raspberry red color. Victorian Europe was so enthusiastic about the raspberry red color of Rhodolite Garnet that they were called Bohemian Rubies.
In Africa this remarkable red semi-precious gemstone was known as a Cape Ruby during the Victorian era. These particular gemstones are even more raspberry red, more richly hued than most, with great luster and tone. The cut is quite unique, the briolette being a very popular gemstone treatment throughout Medieval and Renaissance Europe. The result are some truly gorgeously colored, brilliant, sparkling semi-precious gemstones very coarsely cut to be sure but also quite unique and very characteristic of the product of Russian gemstone cutters several centuries in the past. As might be expected, under magnification the gemstones show the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted.
The coarseness of the 18th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. Naturally these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-tumbled gemstones. Unlike todays computer controlled machine produced gemstones, the cut and finish of gemstones such as these is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago. Such antique hand-crafted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced machine-cut gemstones. Handcrafted though they may be these gemstones possess wonderful luster and sparkle, and to the eye are completely transparent, but one cannot say with absolute certainty that they are absolutely flawless.
True, the blemishes they possess are not visible to the naked eye, and to use trade jargon the gemstones can be characterized as "eye clean". To the eye they are indeed flawless. However magnified as they are here in the accompanying photo enlargements you might be able to pick out one or two slight blemishes within the gemstones, barely perceptible even at such high magnification. Of course the same may said about almost any antique gemstone of natural origin. An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature.Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic. You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish.
Naturally these characteristics are expected of antique hand-finished gemstones of natural origin. Two centuries ago the mining techniques even theoretically possible, let alone commonly practiced, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today. Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones.
Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. It is precisely for these reasons antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second.The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of these antique gemstones more than makes up for the blemishes found within the gemstones, as well as the cutting irregularities common to handcrafted gemstones, all of which are by and large (if at all) are only visible under magnification. RHODOLITE GARNET HISTORY: Victorian Europe was so enthusiastic about the raspberry red color of Rhodolite Garnet that they were called Bohemian Rubies. The name Garnet is derived from the Latin for pomegranate, "grantum", because crystals in rock reminded early aficionados of pomegranate seeds. However in ancient times garnet was also known as carbuncle. Mankind has used garnet as ornamentation for many thousands of years. Archaeologists recently found a garnet bead necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000 B.
Garnet was used in earliest pre-dynastic Ancient Egypt. Excavations in Egypt have uncovered garnet jewelry dating back to 3100 B. Garnet being used to construct necklaces for Pharaohs.In the ancient Roman world, garnet was not only popular with the Romans themselves (particularly for the carving of intaglios for signet rings), but also with the Germanic (barbarian) tribes in Northern Europe bordering the Roman Empire. According to historical accounts, the King of Saxony is said to have had a garnet of over 465 carats. Due to its red color, ancient cultures associated garnet with blood, and thus garnet was thought to stop bleeding or bloodshed between enemies. Some primitive cultures believed that garnets could not only be used to stop bleeding, but would also cure inflammation. Ancients also believed that garnet was useful to resist melancholy and warn off evil spirits, especially spirits of the night, which were referred to as demons and night phantoms. It was also believed in the ancient world that a garnet could give its wearer guidance in the night, allowing them to see when others could not.
Garnet was worn for protection when traveling, as garnet was believed to warn the wearer of approaching danger. The Persians considered garnet a royal stone, as did the Russians in Imperial times. Asian and North American Indian tribes used garnets as bullets, believing the stone would inflict fatal wounds. According to ancient Hebrew mythology, a giant garnet provided interior lighting for Noah's Ark. Garnet, described as nopek, was one of the twelve gemstones described in the Bible in Exodus 28:17-20 as adorning Aarons breastplate, representing the twelve tribes of ancient Israel.
Ancient Christians regarded the blood-red garnet to be symbolic of Christs sacrifice. The Koran holds that the garnet illuminates the Fourth Heaven of Islam. The Greeks said it guarded children from drowning, and it was also thought to be a potent antidote against poisons. According to historical accounts, the Greek Philosopher Plato had his portrait engraved on a garnet by a Roman engraver. And according to Greek myth, 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 was often given to a beloved one before embarking on a trip, as it was believed to heal the broken bonds of lovers. In medieval times, garnet was thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams, and relieve diseases of the liver, as well as hemorrhages. It was also believed that a garnet engraved with the figure of a lion was an all around effective charm that would protect and preserve health, cure the wearer of all disease, bring honors, and guard from all the possible perils of traveling. The wearing of a garnet talisman was also believed to protect against the plague (Black Death), lightening strikes, and was believed to change color so as to warn the wearer of impending danger.
The Crusaders set Garnets into their body armor, believing the protective power of the stones would lead them to safety. From the 16th through 19th centuries, Bohemia, now a part of Czechoslovakia, was a tremendous source of garnet, and at one time, particularly in the Victorian Era, cutting, polishing, and mounting garnets was a very rich industry in that country.
Many Bohemian castles and churches had magnificent interiors decorated with garnet. The different varieties of garnet are found in almost all colors except blue. Brown, red, green, yellow, black, and colorless stones are the most common.
Darker gemstones are usually opaque, and light ones may be transparent or translucent. The best known members of the Garnet family are the deep red varieties, the Pyrope and Alamandite.The Pyrope derives its name from the Greek word meaning "firelike". It was the Pyrope Garnet that figured in the ancient Talmudic legend, which held that the only light in Noah's Ark was supplied by an enormous red garnet. Through out history, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness and providing protection. Found in Egypt, dated 1500 B. The "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. In the eastern civilizations of China, India, and Tibet, gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. Today these traditional cultures regard garnet as a stone of "good health", capable of balancing an individual's energy, stimulate desires, uplift attitude, and increase popularity.
Medicinally garnet was long believed to cure heart palpitations, varicose veins, lung diseases, and various diseases of the blood. It was believed to stimulate metabolism, purify and reenergize the blood, heart and lungs, and was used to treat spinal disorders and arthritis. Garnets were also worn to enhance bodily strength, endurance and vigor. It was widely believed to be extremely beneficial to wear a garnet when one had to physically exert oneself. For men, it was believed to keep the reproductive system healthy.For women, it was believed to promote hormonal balance and was said to reduce swelling. On the meta-physical plane, garnets were believed to bring good fortune, love, and success, and to improve self-esteem, thus even today they are often carried by businessmen as a talisman. The stone is said to sharpen ones perception both of self and of other people. Garnet is believed to balance the sex drive, and is said to aid in sexual potency and fertility, to enhance sexual attraction, and to liberate ones sensual side and so enhance passion and love. Adherents claim that garnet moves a couple deeper into a passionate and sensual exploration of sexual magic. The stone is said to inspire commitment, monogamous and stable marriage, and promises ones love, devotion, and fidelity. It is also believed to aid in finding true lovers. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily lost or misdelivered by postal employees even in the USA.
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We travel to Russia each year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globes most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for.
My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings the gold reused the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence.That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting. Not everyone agrees fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost.
Our interest in the fabulous history of Russian gemstones and the fabulous jewelry of the Czars led to further education and contacts in India, Ceylon, and Siam, other ancient centers of gemstone production and finishing. We have a number of helpers (family members, friends, and colleagues) in Russia and in India who act as eyes and ears for us year-round, and in reciprocity we donate a portion of our revenues to support educational institutions in Russia and India.
These are always offered clearly labeled as contemporary, and not antiques just to avoid confusion. The item "18thC Antique 14ct Rhodolite Garnet Ancient Celtic Roman Blood Traveler Talisman" is in sale since Friday, March 17, 2017.This item is in the category "Collectibles\Decorative Collectibles\Other Decorative Collectibles". The seller is "ancientgifts" and is located in Lummi Island, Washington. This item can be shipped worldwide.