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RARE 19thC Antique ½ct Demantoid “Bobrovka” Garnet Ancient Religious Talisman #52481

Cost: $ 689.99


RARE!!! Excellent Quality Genuine Natural Russian Faceted Round Green Demantoid Garnet Round Semi-Precious Gemstone. Contemporary High Quality Solid 14kt Yellow Gold Ring (Size 7 – Resizing Available).

CLASSIFICATION: Round Faceted Green Demantoid Garnet.

ORIGIN: Ural Mountains, Russia. Late 19th century.

SIZE: Diameter: 4 1/2mm. Depth: 3mm. All measurements approximate.

WEIGHT: 0.42 carats.

NOTE:  Resizing is available.  This setting is also available in 14kt solid white gold as well as sterling silver.  If you would prefer a different setting style, odds are we have many different setting styles available which would fit this stone(s), some less costly, some more.  Write us for pictures and prices. 

NOTE:  If you would like only the gemstone, and not the setting, we can dismount the gemstone and offer you the gemstone without the setting.  Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the setting.

DETAIL:
Extremely rare, demantoid garnet was initially discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1868 during the reign of Alexander II, and the deposits played out within thirty years. Originally it was found in alluvial gold washings from the Bobrovka River, and thus was known in Russia as “Bobrovka Garnet”. The Bobrovka River in the Ural Mountain region has historically been considered the premiere source of not only demantoid, but also alexandrite. At present, extremely fine demantoid is being brought out in limited amounts, but the primary source of demantoid garnet is gemstones recycled from antique settings. Garnet figured prominently in the ancient past of many religions. According to ancient Hebrew mythology, a giant garnet provided interior lighting for Noah's Ark. It is also believed that garnet, described as “nopek”, was one of the twelve gemstones described in the Bible in Exodus 28:17-20 as adorning Aaron’s breastplate, representing the twelve tribes of ancient Israel. The Koran holds that the garnet illuminates the Fourth Heaven of the Moslems, and the ancient Persians regarded garnet as a royal stone, and only royalty was allowed to possess the gemstone.

Here is a gorgeously colored bright green demantoid garnet semi-precious gemstone. Hand crafted by a 19th century Russian artisan, part of an heritage renown for the production of the elaborate gemstones and jewelry of the Czars of Medieval, Renaissance, and Victorian Russia. This particular gemstone was hand cut and faceted, the cut a coarse precursor to what eventually became known in the industry as a “brilliant cut” round, the contemporary finish generally given to round diamonds. And this gemstone has every bit the flash of a diamond, and is a hundred, even a thousand times more rare. In fact demantoid garnet is one of the rarest colored gemstones in the world, and the most highly valued garnet of all. Its dispersion and reflection indexes exceed that of a diamond, which is to say that its brilliance is greater than a diamond’s. In fact the name demantoid is derived from the Dutch word for diamond, “demant”. The setting is of contemporary origin.  It is a high quality setting manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers.  It is constructed of solid 14kt yellow gold (NOT merely gold plate).  We do have the ability to have the ring sent out for resizing if requested.  Additionally, if preferred, the mounting is also available in 14kt solid white gold.

This is a nice quality specimen no less than eye clean. Demantoid garnet is often characterized by tiny “horse tail” inclusions, which while generally cannot be seen with the naked eye, can be seen under magnification. At present, extremely fine demantoid is being brought out in limited amounts, but the primary source of demantoid garnet is gemstones recycled from antique settings. Under magnification the gemstone shows the unmistakable characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone collectors, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of a gemstone. These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, most serious collectors consider such gemstones more desirable, possessed of greater character and uniqueness when compared to today's cookie-cutter mass-produced machine-faceted gemstones. Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones that approach flawlessness in a perfect finish, the cut and finish of a handcrafted gemstone such as this is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.

This gemstone possesses superb luster and sparkle, and to the eye is completely transparent, but it is not absolutely flawless. True, the blemishes it possesses are not visible to the naked eye, and the gemstone can be characterized at a minimum, to use trade jargon, as "eye clean". To the eye it is indeed flawless; however in the accompanying photo enlargements you might be able to pick out one or two slight imperfections within the gemstone, barely perceptible even at such high magnification, and as well occasional irregularities in the faceting and finish. But these characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, you must also consider that two centuries ago the mining techniques even theoretically possible, let alone commonly practiced, did not allow the ultra deep mining operations which are so commonplace today.

Two centuries ago mankind was more or less limited to surface deposits or near surface deposits of gemstones. Higher quality gemstones which today are routinely mined from beneath hundreds of meters, even kilometers beneath the earth's surface, were simply inaccessible then. So antique gemstones must be appreciated as antiques first, gemstones second. The relatively superlative quality of contemporary gemstones routinely mined from deep beneath the earth's surface today were simply not accessible two centuries ago, or at least, only rarely so. However for most, the unique nature and character of antique gemstones such as this more than makes up for minute blemishes both within the gemstone itself as well as in the finish which by and large, are (if at all) only visible under high magnification. 

HISTORY OF DEMANTOID GARNET: Demantoid is known as “the queen of the garnet family”. Though demantoid garnet has been found in Africa in very limited quantities, the best demantoid is found in the Ural Mountains of Russia and is associated with gold bearing sands. The Russian demantoid garnet has much richer and vibrant color. The combination of its color and fire give it unsurpassed splendor. As well, most Russian demantoid garnet is also characterized by “horsetail” inclusions – minute asbestos fibres oftentimes only visible under a microscope. Demantoid garnet is generally available on in small sizes. Gemstone quality specimens in excess of one carat are very rare. Mining of this beautiful, brilliant green garnet lasted only about 30 years, ending before the turn of the twentieth century (over 100 years ago). The primary source for top quality stones today is antique jewelry.

Demantoid was very popular in the 19th century, and remains one of the most valuable gemstones of all, highly coveted for its rarity and its incredible brilliance. Demantoid has a relatively high refraction of light (1.888). Remarkable, however, is also the dispersion, i.e., its ability to reflect the light coming in through the facets and to dissemble this light into all the colours of the rainbow. Demantoid is a champion in this respect, even better than diamond. When the Demantoid was first discovered in the Urals mountains in Russia in 1868, it quickly advanced to the position of a much coveted gemstone. Like a comet it sparkled and shone, displaying its fire at jewellers’ studios in Paris, New York and St Petersburg. Carl Fabergé, Russia’s renown royal jeweler, was fascinated by it because of its striking brilliance, and so he loved to use the stone in his precious objects. If you would like to learn more about demantoid garnet, please click <A HREF="http://www.palagems.com/gem_spectrum4.1.htm">here</A> and <A HREF="http://www.en.safo.be/index.php/2010-11-23-17-19-10/2011-01-21-08-00-32">here</A>.

The name Garnet is derived from the Latin for pomegranate, "grantum", because crystals in rock reminded early aficionados of pomegranate seeds. However in ancient times garnet was also known as “carbuncle”. Mankind has used garnet as ornamentation for many thousands of years. Archaeologsts recently found a garnet bead necklace worn by a young man in a grave that dates back to 3000 B.C. Garnet was used in earliest pre-dynastic Ancient Egypt. Excavations in Egypt have uncovered garnet jewelry dating back to 3100 B.C., garnet being used to construct necklaces for Pharaohs. In the ancient Roman world, it was not only popular with the Romans themselves (particularly for the carving of intaglios for signet rings), but also with the Germanic (“barbarian”) tribes in Northern Europe bordering the Roman Empire. Garnet was also prominently featured in the magnificent cloisonné inlay jewelry found in sixth and seventh century burials in England at the Anglo-Saxon site of Sutto Hoo, and was also popular with the other peoples of ancient Britannia, including the Celts, Franks, and Normans. According to historical accounts, the King of Saxony is said to have had a garnet of over 465 carats.

Classical Mediterranean cultures believed that a garnet could give its wearer guidance in the night, allowing them to see when others could not. Garnet was worn for protection when traveling, as garnet was believed to warn the wearer of approaching danger. The Persians considered garnet a royal stone, as did the Russians in Imperial times. Asian and North American Indian tribes used garnets as bullets, believing the stone would inflict fatal wounds. The Koran holds that the garnet illuminates the Fourth Heaven of Islam. The Greeks said it guarded children from drowning, and it was also thought to be a potent antidote against poisons. According to historical accounts, the Greek Philosopher Plato had his portrait engraved on a garnet by a Roman engraver. And according to Greek myth, garnet is symbolic of a quick return and separated love, since Hades had given a pomegranate to Persephone before she left him to ensure her speedy return. Therefore, Garnet was often given to a beloved one before embarking on a trip, as it was believed to heal the broken bonds of lovers.

In medieval times, garnet was thought to cure depression, protect against bad dreams, and relieve diseases of the liver, as well as hemorrhages. It was also believed that a garnet engraved with the figure of a lion was an all around effective charm that would protect and preserve health, cure the wearer of all disease, bring honors, and guard from all the possible perils of traveling. The wearing of a garnet talisman was also believed to protect against the plague (“Black Death”), lightening strikes, and was believed to change color so as to warn the wearer of impending danger. The Crusaders set Garnets into their body armor, believing the protective power of the stones would lead them to safety.

From the 16th through 19th centuries, Bohemia, now a part of Czechoslovakia, was a tremendous source of garnet, and at one time, particularly in the Victorian Era, cutting, polishing, and mounting garnets was a very rich industry in that country. Many Bohemian castles and churches had magnificent interiors decorated with garnet. The different varieties of garnet are found in almost all colors except blue. Brown, red, green, yellow, black, and colorless stones are the most common. Darker gemstones are usually opaque, and light ones may be transparent or translucent. The best known members of the Garnet family are the deep red varieties, the Pyrope and Alamandite. The Pyrope derives its name from the Greek word meaning "firelike". It was the Pyrope Garnet that figured in the ancient Talmudic legend, which held that the only light in Noah's Ark was supplied by an enormous red garnet.

Through out history, gemstones were believed capable of curing illness and providing protection. Found in Egypt, dated 1500 B.C., the "Papyrus Ebers" offered one of most complete therapeutic manuscripts containing prescriptions using gemstones and minerals. In the eastern civilizations of China, India, and Tibet, gemstones were not only valued for their medicinal and protective properties, but also for educational and spiritual enhancement. Today these traditional cultures regard garnet as a stone of "good health", capable of balancing an individual's energy, stimulate desires, uplift attitude, and increase popularity.

Medicinally garnet was long believed to cure heart palpitations, varicose veins, lung diseases, and various diseases of the blood. It was believed to stimulate metabolism, purify and reenergize the blood, heart and lungs, and was used to treat spinal disorders and arthritis. Garnets were also worn to enhance bodily strength, endurance and vigor. It was widely believed to be extremely beneficial to wear a garnet when one had to physically exert oneself. For men, it was believed to keep the reproductive system healthy. For women, it was believed to promote hormonal balance and was said to reduce swelling.

On the meta-physical plane, garnets were believed to bring good fortune, love, and success, and to improve self-esteem, thus even today they are often carried by businessmen as a talisman. The stone is said to sharpen one’s perception both of self and of other people. Garnet is believed to balance the sex drive, and is said to aid in sexual potency and fertility, to enhance sexual attraction, and to liberate one’s sensual side and so enhance passion and love. Adherents claim that garnet moves a couple deeper into a passionate and sensual exploration of sexual magic. The stone is said to inspire commitment, monogamous and stable marriage, and promises one’s love, devotion, and fidelity. It is also believed to aid in finding true lovers.

 

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10/1/2013 12:00:00 AM
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