Garnet is for January

Our customers tell us that when they wear our jewelry, it immediately becomes a conversation piece.  I like to hear this because my aim is to produce that one of a kind design that makes Brigitte Regula different and unique.

I always start with a generous amount of gemstones and let a story unfold which dictates all my subsequent choices for components and stringing options. 

Today I want to introduce you to the garnet. 

Kate Beckinsale at the 2009 Golden Globes

Kate Beckinsale at the 2009 Golden Globes

Some people might think the garnet is a bit old fashioned, but it’s a classic gem that’s reemerging in the fashion world.  Today, top designers such as Pomellato and David Yurman prominently feature garnets in their collections, and they are beautiful.

Garnets come from all over the world but especially Africa and SE Asia. They're popular as well in my country Switzerland where it beautifully decorates the traditional dirndls. They come in many shades from green, through brown, to the more familiar dark red.  I’ve been asked how to tell the difference between a garnet and a ruby.  Though it can be tricky to confirm at first glance, if you hold your stone up to a bright light you can check the rainbow it casts.  A ruby won’t produce yellows and greens.

Garnets have been found throughout history, from artifacts in Egyptian tombs to relics from the Bronze Age to the earliest Anglo-Saxon cloisonné.  They were popular with the Romans and the Victorians.  Many cultures have even attributed magical and healing powers to garnets, such as friendship, safe return from battle, or a curative for insomnia.

Danish Rosenborg Kokoshnik designed by jeweler Dragsted in the 1930s, seen on Princess Viggo (left) and  Countess Ruth (right)

Danish Rosenborg Kokoshnik designed by jeweler Dragsted in the 1930s, seen on Princess Viggo (left) and  Countess Ruth (right)

So much of my inspiration comes from the antique world, and I love these very old, important gemstones.  The garnet also happens to be my birthstone, along with anyone else born in January.  If that’s you, Happy Birthday!

1800s Czech bohemian rose cut garnet necklace

1800s Czech bohemian rose cut garnet necklace

Brigitte Hollinger