Garnet

I.

Garnet is a group of minerals closely related and closely similar in shape. Garnets vary only faintly and some of the minerals may be so similar that they are impossible to tell apart from one another without x-ray.

Garnets can be further divided into two large groups:

Group 1: Garnets containing aluminum (Al). These include Pyrope, Almandine, and Spessartine. ("Pyralspite")

Group 2: Garnets containing calcium (Ca). These include Uvarovite, Grossular, and Andradite. ("Ugrandite")

In addition to these six gem garnet types, mineralogists recognize more than 30 others, some just speculative. The rarest one is Uvavorite, hardly ever seen in nature.

 

II.

This mineral became very popular during the production of Georgian jewellery. This jewellery was made during the reigns of the four English kings, in XVIII and XIX century. Not much survived to be seen in our days. All Georgian jewellery was made by hand. This was considered as a period of new discoveries and improvement. Glass paste copies of real gems were developed as well as a substitute for gold called "pinchbeck" named after its inventor. In the early Georgian days the use of large stones set in an elaborate rococo style prevailed. If real gemstones were used, diamonds were the absolute favourite until the mid XVIII century, but to add to white stone production, quartz quickly gained in popularity. After mid of XVIII century, coloured stones became trendy once more. Emeralds, rubies, and sapphires were worn again along with fresh gems like topazes, amethyst, pearls, and garnets.

 

 

III.

Rhodolite is part Almandine, but mostly Pyrope, usualy about 2/3.
Pyrope, a member of the Garnet family, always wears red. Hence it got its name from the Greek word "pyr" and "ops", meaning fire and to appear literally; or if we allow ourselves some free interpretaion: "face of fire". However translated, pyrope carries fire in its core—this has little doubt among those who once held this gem in their palm.

On the other hand, rhodolite’s name comes from the Greek word for rose. Association and symbolism in the case of this jewel is very strong - fighting power of spirit - merged by the raging flames and thornes of this seemingly gentle but beautiful flower.