This Autumn, a particular shade of plummy-red seems to be appearing in shops about town. It is the colour of cherries, velvet theatre-curtains, pinot noir, chesterfields in stately homes and all things nice. In gem-form, it is garnet and in particular the varieties pyrope and almandine.
The name ‘garnet’ derives from the Latin for ‘grain’ because of the rounded crystals and similarity of the red kernals to the pomegranate.
Pyrope is so-called after the Greek ‘Pyropos’ meaning fiery. It was the stone of choice for discerning ladies in the 18th and 19th centuries, especially the variety ‘Bohemian Garnet’. It is primarily found in Burma, South Africa, Arizona (USA), Madagascar, Sri Lanka, China and Tanzania. Closer to home, deposits have been found in Scotland.
The picture above shows a Victorian Bohemian garnet necklace. I am enjoying watching the new ITV drama, Victoria, especially as the costumes and jewellery are so opulent. How nice to be able to drape oneself with fabulous jewels for dinner every evening!
I have made a selection of pieces for Autumn using garnets in various shades and cuts and I hope they will add a touch of regal glamour to your outfits this season!