The deep dark red stone known as Bohemian Garnet (or pyrope garnet) was probably most popular during the reign of Queen Victoria (1837-1901). Its deep dark venous blood colour fitted in with the trends of the time for dark hued stones.


It is translucent to transparent yet seems to hold a deep dark red fire within. This feature, when combined with the traditional way of mounting them – which is cramming as many stones into as small a space as possible – makes them a really intense and enchanting gemstone for jewellery. Bohemian garnets hardness on Moh’s scale is from 6.5-7.5 and this stone has great stability of colour being resistant to acid and heat.
Bohemian Pyrope Garnets were mined in the mountains in the old province of Bohemia for many years, as well as having been collected from river silt and grit for many centuries.

There are records of exports of Bohemian Garnets from Bohemia to other parts of Europe but it was not until the late 1400’s that Bohemian Garnets were used much more frequently as adornments on liturgical objects, particularly reliquary and chalices. In 1679 it is said that Bohuslav Balbin named the stone the Bohemian Garnet. After 1700 these stones, usually in the simple but stunning ‘rose cut’, were used widely in jewellery.
The Empress Marie Therese issued a complete ban on the export of Bohemian Garnets from the country as small stones came to the forefront of fashion in the 1750’s. In this way she managed to keep a monopoly on these sought after and popular gemstones. Stone cutters were kept hard at work in places such as Svetla nad Sazavou as well as Dlazkovice and Trebenice. The Bohemian Garnet was adopted as the mineral symbol of Bohemia at this time.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Bohemian Garnet enjoyed a renewed popularity after the World Exhibition in Brussels which took place in 1958. This enthusiasm translated into renewed interest in Bohemian Garnets, but most collectors favour the Victorian period as being the time when these under-rated stones were used to their very best effect.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buyers should beware, there are many exceptionally good copies of Bohemian Garnets on the market. I have several brooches and one necklace and earring set for sale on my site made using Swarovski crystals in Bohemian Garnet colour. To the naked eye, they are extremely hard to differentiate from genuine Bohemian Garnets.

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