“Bohemian rubies” - the history of garnets from the north of the Czech Republic

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more like the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it... Interesting

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not the same as ruby. Its red color is much more like the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it will reveal all its beauty and perfection.

Bohemia is an amazing state, formed in ancient times by Slavic peoples, in a fabulous place, surrounded on all sides by mountains. You and I, precious readers, have repeatedly visited here to be amazed at the work of the masters born here.

Modern people associate the ancient name of the northern part of the modern Czech Republic with glass. Yes, skilled glassblowers have won the hearts of the whole world with their masterpieces. Most of all, you remember and struck to the heart the realistic works of father and son Blaschka.

That's how many interesting and amazing things are concentrated in this historical place... and ahead of us is another fascinating story about a genius originally from Bohemia... however! While this will remain a secret, today we will consider the main value of these places - grenades and jewelry, which have become the hallmark of the Czech Republic!

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-2

Bohemian garnets, belonging to the pyrope variety of garnet, are valued for their special hue (garnet takes its name from this variety) and internal fire, which is the result of their exceptional refractive properties.

19th century pendant with a “secret”

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-4

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-5

The recognition of these garnets dates back to the Bronze Age, when people first recognized and appreciated their remarkable color. Numerous ancient Greek philosophers and authors, such as Pliny the Elder, Aristotle and Theophrastus of Eresus, mentioned pomegranates in their works.

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-6

Significant deposits of garnets were discovered in the 16th century in Meronice, located in the Bohemian hills of the Czech Republic. These garnets were found in gravel resulting from the decomposition of serpentine rock and received their unique color from traces of chromium and manganese.

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Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-7

Although they have only been mined for the last 600 years, these garnets have been collected and made into jewelry for several millennia.

Bohemian garnet jewelry is known for its rose-cut gemstones, which are pavé and resemble garnet seeds.

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-8

Pyropes in jewelry were discovered during excavations of the tomb of Childeric the First, king of the Franks (436-482 AD)

Almost all of this treasure has been lost (or hidden to hide the true origin of the ancestors of the Merovingian dynasty).

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-9

It is interesting that the jewelry of the king, the founder of France, includes not only garnets, but also a skillful imitation of them made of glass.

Merovingian ring 6-7 century AD, gold, glass on foil

Yes, the most beautiful garnets are mined in the same area and, at the same time, skilled craftsmen make similar glass. Traditions from such depths of centuries that it is difficult to imagine!

But here is a modern imitation of garnets made of Czech glass (the seller does not hide this):

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-11

In addition to imitation glass, Czech garnets in jewelry can be in the form of doublets. These doublets consist of a small, thin piece of garnet (usually almandine pyrope) fused to a much larger colored glass base, which is actually responsible for almost all of the color of the stone. Characteristic features are the strong difference in luster between small highly reflective garnet and low refractive glass:

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-12

During the Renaissance, Venetian stone carvers traveled to Prague and taught local craftsmen improved techniques for cutting and setting gemstones, allowing garnets to be used in jewelry and art.

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-13

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-14

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-15

King Rudolf II, a member of the illustrious Habsburg family, was another prominent garnet enthusiast who adorned his crown with these gems, which is still used today as the Imperial Crown of Austria.

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Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-16

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-17

Bohemian garnets experienced a surge in popularity in the 19th century when they adorned Russian dresses at the Congress of Vienna after the fall of Napoleon in 1815.

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-18

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-18-2

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-18-3

Nicholas I personally traveled to Turnov to order a collection of garnet jewelry for the Empress.

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-19

Garnets remained very popular throughout the Victorian era until the onset of the Great Depression. This charming piece is currently experiencing a resurgence in popularity and is a must when visiting the Czech Republic.

Garnet is a red gemstone, but not like a ruby; its red color is much more similar to the color of a flame... It is formed far in the east... If it is properly cut and polished, it...-20