Brooch with garnets
Size : Inner diameter: 3 cm; External diameter: 4,3 cm
Its name derives from Latin word “granatus” = fruit, pomegranate fruit; the stone look similar to the pomegranate seeds.
In Medieval Europe red garnets were commonly mistaken for rubies or even other gemstones. All of them were called “red stones” – rubies (Lat. “ruber”). Since antiquity all red stones came from the Far East until 13th century when red garnets, so called pyropes, were found in Bohemia. All red stones were revered as symbols of life and love (red being the color of blood). Since antiquity all red stones belonged to the goddess Venus.
Medieval crusaders looted a lot of red stones; around that time Europeans have first heard about various “magical” abilities of garnets. They were thought to make people kind and righteous, while at the same time helping them in their struggles for titles and land. It was believed that garnets, like rubies, protect from all kinds of “plague” and warn their owner of danger by changing their color. Hey were also thought to calm rages and soothe anger, to protect the warrior and give him strength and courage. Because of that warriors going to battle often had these stones with them.
Numerous medieval jewellery pieces: brooches, clasps, crowns decorated with garnets are proofs of the special status of these stones in Europe, at the same time showing their greater use than rubies.