About garnet

History of the stone

Garnet was mentioned since the time of Noah's ark. From garnet a lantern was made, that lit up Noah’s path.

This stone can be seen in many decorations of Roman, Greek and Egyptian eras.

Up until the Middle Ages all the stones of the red color had been called garnets. Resembling a glowing ember of the bonfire, garnet for a long time was called carbuncle (from the Latin "carbo" - ember). In Ruthenia, along with hyacinth, garnet and ruby had the name "Chervchaty Yakhont"(Deep red ruby).

Only in the XVIII century the famous German theologian and philosopher Albertus Magnus called special group of minerals "garnets» (granatus - grain). Since that time, semi-precious red "grains" have won one of the leading places on the podium of semiprecious stones.


The Garnet palette

At the moment there are more than ten kinds of garnet. They differ not only in color and composition, but also with certain properties. The main groups are considered to be 9:
Pyrope - the so-called Czech garnet, blood-red garnets that come from the Czech Republic. The stone, that has the dark red coloring and flashs in the sun with bright colors, is a favorite addition to the jewelry of the most passionate natures.


History of the Czech Garnet

Czech garnet - is transparent, even a translucent mineral, beautiful, with deep red color, belonging to the group of pyropes. Because of this color gamut czech garnet is a very popular mineral in the world. Czech garnet - is a gem of a small size (0.2 to 0.8 cm), from the flamy color to the color of blood (painted chromium-doped). Its name comes from the Greek word Piropos (Pyropos), pyr = fire, ops = eye, or from the Latin Carbunculus = coal cinder, granatus = grainy, in English - Bohemian garnet, in German - Böhmisches Granat, on the old Czech language, according to Claret - zrnakoč (zrnakoch). By the Mohs scale of hardness czech garnet has a hardness of 7 - 7.5. It boasts with exceptional color stability, and is resistant to heat and acids.

In ancient times, Czech garnet sometimes accidentally could have been found and collected in the river drifts. The organized collection of garnets with exports to Europe began in the early Middle Ages, in the period of migration of peoples, from VI to VIII century. In the Middle Ages, the popularity of Czech garnet disappears. Rare jewelry exhibits remained from the second half of the XIV century (reliquary of the Cathedral of Prague). Only in the second half of the XV century, the liturgical silver more often have been decorated with garnets, especially the bowls. The climax of the period came during the reign of Emperor Rudolf II (ruled from 1576 to 1610 years), who supported the stoneshapers and applied the right of emptive redemption of garnets with especially large sizes. In 1679 Bohuslav Balbin named pyrope as czech garnet and since then the pyropes found in the Czech Republic, have been called "Czech garnets". After 1700 Czech garnets spread throughout the industry of jewelry production. At the end of the first half of the XVIII century came into vogue decorations with small stones, and therefore, in 1762, Empress Maria Theresia banned the export of Czech garnets abroad. Thus she protected the domestic production of mining and processing of Czech garnets. At that time has appeared some lapidary workshops in Podseditsih (Podsedicích), Dlazhkovitsih (Dlažkovicích), in Svetle nad Sazovoi (Světlé nad Sázavou), in Trzhebenitsih (Třebenicích), in Mountain Trzhebivlitsyh (Horních Třebívlicích) and Skaltse (Skalce). Czech National Revival approved the Czech garnet on the mineralogical character of the Czech Republic. The stone became an attribute of Czech patriots (portraits of the couple Vaclav Hanka, the daughter of Frantisek Palacky, Bozena Nemcova, etc.). In the middle and end of the XIX century, the production of jewelry from the garnets were determined based on jewelry art of the planting of stone: granular or thread. In the XIX century Czech jewelers have successfully demonstrated the results of their work at industrial exhibitions at home and abroad. Due to the success of artists and Turnovský jewelers on the world exhibition in Brussels in 1958, Czech garnets returned to the modern artistic creation and opened the modern history of jewelry in the Czech Republic.

In the modern history, cooperative THURNOV GARNET operates on the market since 1950, since then engaged in processing of Czech garnet. Garnet decorations of our production have a very specific nature, that has some connection with the size of the stones. The stones in size are from 2 to 6 mm and, therefore, the beauty of sparkling red color, and brilliance of the stone stands on large surfaces of the stone. Jewelry with Czech garnets are densely planted with stones and metal creates a load-bearing structure of jewelry. In the midst of the decorations placed large rocks, which also belong to the garnet group, but they are not pyrope, but almandine. Nowadays it is fashionable and popular a combination of the Czech garnet with other Czech stone - vltavin. Today's proposed collection presents a huge number of classic models in recent years, replenished with jewelry with modern creative designs, which creates an alternative for a younger customers. This tendency in recent years is maintained due to the jewelry symposiums in the city of Turnov, in the organization of which our cooperative is involved.

At the moment the cooperative THURNOV GARNET is undoubtedly the largest refiner and producer of jewelry with Czech garnets, which uses the most modern technologies for the creation of the new models of jewelry, as to produce them. Despite this tendency, on the jewelry with garnets remains high proportion of manual work of the Turnovský jewelers.

THURNOV GARNET is the carrier of the process of development of this type of jewelry and on the exhibitions sets design trends and their final appearance. Our customers we find all over the world, on all continents. Most of all, of course, at home, in the Czech Republic. Thanks to all this, cooperative contributes to the popularity of the garnet jewelry and their worldwide promotion.

The largest collection of historical works with Czech garnets remains in the National Museum in Prague, less volumetric collection can also be found in Prague, in the Art and Industry Museum and the Moravian Gallery in the city of Brno. Complete collections are found in the Specialized School in Turnov (student work) and in the local Museum of the Czech( Bohemian) Paradise.

Almandine - the most widespread stone from the group of garnets. It is found red, brown and purple colors. Its name, the stone received from the area it is mined at - Alamanda.



Rhodolite – Pink


Uvarovite - Rare garnet with emerald-green color, named after the President of the Russian Imperial Academy of Sciences, Count S.S. Uvarov.




Hessonite - Orange, purple


Grossular – garnet of the unusual light-green and greenish-brown tint. The name this stone received due to the similarity with the fruits of gooseberry ( «grossularia»). In the past Grossular was quite popular, but it does not have perfect clarity and its color does not meet the modern requirements of a yellowish tint.



Melanit or Schorlomit – Black




Spessartite – garnet of the pink, red and yellowish-brown colors, got its name from the name of a place in Germany (Spessart).




Demantoid - transparent green and others.



  • in jewelry (such as jewelry and ornamental stone);
  • in the abrasive industry (for the production of garnet pelts, powders and grinding wheel);
  • in the building industry (as an additive to cement and ceramic materials);
  • in electronics (as ferromagnetic);
  • in instrument making (for the creation of lasers, optical systems).


Interesting facts about the stone

Garnet is associated with many different legends and beliefs in different countries.

For example, it is assumed that stealing this gem is dangerous, because a stolen garnet sooner or later will destroy the thief. But bought, donated or inherited stone, will certainly bring good luck.
According to legend it was exactly the bright red garnet that illuminated Noah’s and all the saved ones way on his ark.

In Persia garnet was called none other than the king's stone, because on the large garnet stones it was decided to cut out the portraits of the rulers of the country.

In feudal Europe the stone was called frozen flame of the human heart, and often were given as a token of love and devotion.

Very loved the garnet is in the Czech Republic. For example, a necklace of large selected dark red garnets the famous Czech composer and conductor Bedrich Smetana has presented to his wife as a sign of love after many happy years together.

Well-known German poet and statesman Johann Goethe presented the set of garnets to his beloved.

Catherine II loved to adorn herself with the jewelry of garnet. Do not lag behind her some modern crowned heads of England and Belgium.

Particular fame to the stone brought lyrical work of Alexander Kuprin "Garnet Bracelet". However, the author was inspired to write this romantic story with bracelet inlaid not with red, but with unusual green garnet.