Czech Garnets in Jewelry

Czech garnet earringsCzech garnets – also known as Bohemian garnets – are deep red Pyrope garnets, which are the variety of garnets with saturated dark red color. Deposits of the Czech garnets are in the north of Bohemia, northwest from Prague. The Pyropes were found in the territory of the Czech Republic more than thousand years ago. Besides, the pyrope deposits are known in the USA, Brazil, Argentina, Australia, Russia, India, Tanzania, Norway. The oldest Czech garnet jewelry dates back to the 10th century.

Czech Garnet Ring

The Czech pyrope is a small precious stone (from 0.2 to 0.8 cm in size), but it differs by abundance and purity. The Czech garnet possesses unique properties. At first, its color is almost identical, wherever the stone has been found, whereas the pyropes from other countries found within the same deposit can much differ in color. Secondly, its color extremely saturated and dense, is pure-red. The Indian grenades were already well-known in Europe; however they couldn’t be compared by color to the Czech ones. Thirdly, the Czech garnet doesn’t dissolve in acids, alkalis and other corrosive mediums. At last, it withstands temperature in 1600 Celsius degrees whereas diamond burns down already at 1000 Celsius degrees. For that properties in the Middle Ages alchemists  named this stone “immortal”. Then it has been selected as a separate variety of garnets, and Czech garnet have got the name “granati bohemiči” or Bohemian Garnet.

Czech Garnet Braselet in Victorian style

In the 15th century the garnets were facetted manually saving their natural forms; later for that purpose the rotating bar was used. In the beginning of the 18-th century the empress Maria-Terezija has forbidden export of raw garnets from the country and has actually imposed monopoly on the mining and working of garnet, before that time jewelers from adjacent Germany had the right of Czech stones faceting.

The whole 19th century was the period of a high and stable interest to the Czech Garnet Jewelry. Grassroots liked to carry chains, daggers, hairpins, buttons decorated with stones. People from the high society bought crests, diadems, necklaces, rings, garnet earrings, beads, in which garnets were often adjoined to pearls, citrines, agates, lazurites and rock crystals. Soon the whole Europe fell in love with the  Bohemian garnets due to numerous famous Czech resorts where shops with the Czech jewelry were often situated.

Czech garnet jewelry from TurnovUp to this date the capital of the modern Czech garnets is Turnov. The syndicate “Granát D.U.V Turnov” has appeared as a result of joining of small private jewelers’ companies in 1953. Today “Granát, d.u.v. Turnov” is the largest vendor of the Czech Garnet Jewelry and the owner of unique garnet deposits in Podsedlitse. A wide corporate chain also belongs to the syndicate. Its jewelry lineup includes not only the modern types of jewelry, but also models build on the historical tradition, and even copies of the collections issued in the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century, for example, in Baroque and art deco style. All jewels are made manually. There is even a tableware with garnets in the new collection. The market offers a lot of fakes and simulation of products with the Czech pyropes, therefore it is necessary to buy them just in chain stores.

The largest collections of the historic work with the Bohemian garnet are owned by the National Museum and the Museum of Art and Industry in Prague and the Moravian Gallery in Brno. There are also custom-designed collections in the Vocational Jewellery College in Turnov and in the local Museum of the Bohemian Paradise.

 

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