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BOHEMIAN GARNET

This name was used for the first time in the early 17th century by the personal Physician of the Emperor Rudolph II., Anselm Boeti de Booto, in his work Gemmarum et Lapidum Historia. However, the stone itself had been used long before. The jewels made of pyropes had been known from the 10th century and we know they had surely attracted people with their extraordinarily charming rich red colour in the eras long ago. Their disadvantage has been their small size. Carbuncle, as it was called, was rather used for magic practices or alternative medicine when it was pulverized and added to ointments and drops.

Neopracované a broušené granáty

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With the development of art production using stones under the reign of Rudolph II., an unusual focus was drawn to the Bohemian Garnets from our finding places, in particular from the areas of České středohoří and Podkrkonoší, which were used for decoration of various art objects. In that period, the principle was established that its beautiful, sparkling red colour stood out only in case the Bohemian Garnet was a part of a set with more stones. This experience was richly exploited by craftsmen in the early 19th century when the Bohemian Garnet jewel became dominant for the middle-class society. It gained favour especially after the Vienna Congress in 1815 where the Russian czarina wore a Bohemian Garnet set. Another unique set of jewels is the well-known set of baroness Ulrika von Levetzow who is connected with the German poet J. W. Goethe. Probably the most beautiful Bohemian Garnets are deposited in Grünes Gewölbe in Dresden where a 47-carate stone along with other stones are set in the Order of the Golden Fleece. Past centuries and their styles influenced the appearance and production of the Bohemian Garnet jewellery. Because of the great interest in these jewels, many new cutting and jewellery workshops could be created. With regard to the needs of craftsmen, Jewellery School in Turnov was established in 1884 and its jewels have been awarded in leading world exhibitions both in our country and abroad.

The Bohemian Garnet jewel is made of gold and silver and in both cases it has the same grandeur effect. Nowadays, the production of Bohemian Garnet jewellery has been concentrated in Turnov where several companies are engaged in their production. All of them follow the traditions and exploit the experience inherited from the past. STUDIO ŠPERK, established in the early nineties by the graduate of the above mentioned Jewellery School Josef Drahoňovský, ranks to the leading producers who pay great attention to high quality and aesthetic value of the jewels. His firm, the logo of which is protected by a trademark number 347119, produces modern Bohemian Garnet jewellery partially freed from the historicizing aspect which prevails in case of other producers. It is one of few attempts to move the development of the Bohemian Garnet jewellery forwards. However, what unifies all the producers of the Bohemian Garnet jewellery, is the stone itself. We know that Garnets are minerals which are quite spread in the whole world. They are given their names according to their finding places: Arizona Ruby, Cape Town Ruby, but the most charming from all pyropes is the Bohemian Garnet from Česke středohoří. From the mineralogical point of view, it is magnesium-aluminium silicate and its chemical formula is as follows:

Mg(Ca, Fe, Mg)3 Al(Cr, Fe)2(SiO4)3,

its hardness varies between 7–7.5 of the Mohsęs hardness scale and density from 3.65 to 3.80 g/m3. Its name is derived from the Greek word pyropos which means flaming. Its special, flaming dark-red colour stands out only after the stone is cut. The pyrope and almandine as well, a further natural gem from the group of garnets by which the Bohemian Garnet jewellery is decorated, are resistant to acids and lyes as well as to high temperatures. Tiny grains are machine cut while larger-sized stones are cut manually. Mostly a round brilliant and route cut are chosen, whereas a star cut is quite typical for the Bohemian Garnet jewel.

Historie granátu
  Bohemian Garnet and the Bohemian Garnet jewel have been and remain well known terms and are protected by the Office for industrial property as a designation of origin under the numbers 80 “Bohemian Garnet” and 81 “Bohemian Garnet jewellery“.

Jan Čermák
Law-court expert in the field of precious
metals and precious stones