Dolce's birthstone of the month: Garnet

Dolce's birthstone of the month: Garnet

[click “Play”, Beau Staley talks about garnets]


PDT-BB-pss-46s Teacup Pendant In January, you Goats (Capricorn, December 22 – January 19) and Water Bearers (Aquarius, January 20 – February 18) follow Cynthia Zehm’s weekly column in Telluride Inside… and Out, Alacazem, to find out what life has in store. For sure, what’s in store at Telluride’s Dolce is the birthstone of the month: garnet.

The name “garnet” appears to have originated with the Latin “granatum malum,” which means “pomegranate,” the bush that produces the fruit with seeds the color of the stone. Jewelry made with garnet has been found in burial sites as early as the Bronze Age (3000 BC), when the stone was also used as an abrasive.

  NNW104 GARNET, HEMATITE QUARTZ AND STERLING NECKLACE One of the legends surrounding the garnet links the stone to Noah of Ark fame. The garnet has long been associated with fire and was thought to possess the ability to illuminate the sky at night. Noah was believed to have hung the gem on the Ark to light his way through the dark and stormy nights of God’s wrath.

A Greek myth linked to the stone concerns the story of the young goddess of sunshine, Persephone. Persephone was supposedly abducted by Hades, god of the underworld, who eventually released his captive, but not before she ate pomegranate seeds, guaranteeing her return to him. No big surprise early communities came to value garnet for protection in the afterlife.

During the Middle Ages, to receive a garnet as a gift was considered good luck. However, stealing the stone meant bad luck to the thief. It was also believed that a garnet’s loss of luster was a sign of impending doom.

From the svelte necklines of Abyssinian princesses to the powdered decolletage of Marie Antoinette, the mystique of garnets has made the stone a timeless symbol of feminine beauty, as well as a sign of faith, truth, and light.

The term “garnet” is generally associated with dark red gemstones. However, there are currently 38 variations on the theme in as many colors, 30 of which can be found in our home state of Colorado, one of the most strongly mineralized areas in the world.

To learn more about the properties of birthstone of the month and how jewelry designers such as Joni Gotthelf, Belle Broke and Simon Alcantara have interpreted the stone, click the “play” button and listen to what Dolce’s Beau Staley has to say.

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