Happy New Year! as life returns to normal following all the festivities and parties, the nights can still be long and dark here in Orkney. Harsh weather still prevails and we still need things to lift our spirits.
For hundreds of years people have been giving gifts of birthstones and January birthdays can celebrate with their stone of the month which is garnet. Garnet is also used traditionally to celebrate the second or sixth year of marriage.
Associated with friendship, faithfulness, truth and purity the name garnet is derived from the Greek word ‘granatum’ meaning pomegranate seed. This is reflected in the most commonly know garnet reddish-brown colour as well its composition, but it is available in every colour except blue.
The colour is determined mainly by the gem’s absorption of certain wavelengths of of light. This is called the body colour. The hue gives the first impression of the garnet’s colour with tone and saturation adding the other components. Tone relates to the intensity of light or dark in the gem and and saturation determines how dull or vivid your garnet may be.
According to folklore garnets were exchanged as gifts between friends to demonstrate their affection for each other and to ensure that they met again. Garnets are also believed by some to regulate heart and blood flow, aid depression and can also be worn to relieve inflammation of the skin.
For the more scientific seeking among you, the garnet group of stones contain seven major stone types: almandine, andradite, demantoid, grossularite, pyrope, spessartite and uvarovite. These are graded by the four c’s colour, cut, clarity and carat (weight) Garnets are formed under high pressure and temperature (which rules out wintery Orkney as an original source!).
We have a large selection of handmade jewellery pieces with a selection of colours in the garnet gem range. Why not have a look at my Nebula necklaces or newest range Alice rings? Unlock your loved one’s heart with a Skaill jewel key pendant or build up and explosion of colours with our hugely popular stacking rings.
Whatever your style I’m sure we have something special for you to enjoy. Feel free to contact me if I’m able to help in any way or to personalise your special gift with engraving.