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|Seller||ancientgifts (4881) 99.5%|
eBay seller from Jun 1999
Location: Lummi Island, Washington
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Two Hand Crafted Antique Genuine Natural Bavarian Bright Red-Orange Spessartite Garnet Faceted Rounds. Mounted into Contemporary High Quality 10kt Solid Gold Euroclick-Style Earrings.
CLASSIFICATION: Spessartite Red Garnet Faceted Rounds.
ORIGIN: Spessart, Bavaria. 19th Century. Handcrafted in 19th Century Russian Siberia
SIZE: Approximate Diameter: 5mm.
WEIGHT: Approximately 1.23 carats (the pair).
NOTE: If you prefer, upon request, other setting styles are available such as studs, lever backs, french hooks, kidney wires, ball/stud dangles, etc., as are sterling silver, 14kt gold fill, and 14kt solid gold settings.
NOTE: If you would like only the gemstones, and not the settings, we can dismount the gemstones and offer you the gemstones without the settings. Just let us know, and yes, we’ll discount the price by the cost of the settings.
DETAIL: 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. Archaeologists 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.
Celebrating our cultural legacy here are two gorgeously colored bright and richly hued sparkling, blood red spessart garnets with a bright orange undertone. They have a red body, and display bright red-orange flashes in the light. This particular species of garnet is known as "Spessartite", and is so named after its original source of Spessart, Bavaria. 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. Originally used in indigenous jewelry, these are very pretty and quite uncommon semi-precious gemstones, with highly desirable, beautiful, rich, vibrant, almost velvety red-orange hue. They possess great character, and wonderful tone and color, and given the fact that Spessartite Garnets are rarely found in transparent gemstone quality material, a pair of very exceptional specimens.
They are certainly no less than eye clean, nice quality semi-precious gemstones. It is not to suggest they are absolutely flawless, but to the eye, even in the accompanying photo enlargements here you can see for yourself that they are very clean. Spessartite garnets are very uncommon however, and the original source of these gemstones in Bavaria no longer produces them. Given the very substantial size, as richly colored Spessartite garnets go, uncommon as they are, these are very desirable. The earring settings are of contemporary origin. They are high quality settings manufactured by one of the USA’s leading semi-custom mount producers. They are constructed of solid 10kt gold. They are not cheap, gold electroplated earrings. They are of genuine, solid 10kt gold, designed to last a lifetime. It's a first-class piece of jewelry throughout. We can reset into lever backs, French hooks, kidney wires, ball-stud dangles, upon request if you prefer something other than French hooks. As well, at reduced cost, most of these other various styles are also available in sterling silver as well as 14kt gold fill (5% gold over 95% silver).
As might be expected under magnification the gemstones show the unmistakable, hallmark characteristics of having been hand crafted. The coarseness of the 19th century finish is considered appealing to most gemstone aficionados, and is not considered a detriment, or detract from the value of such gemstones. These characteristics are not only expected of hand-finished gemstones, many believe that such antique hand-crafted gemstones possess much greater character and appeal than today's mass-produced, laser-cut gemstones. Unlike today’s computer controlled machine produced gemstones that approach flawlessness in a perfect finish, the cut and finish of handcrafted gemstones like these is the legacy of an artisan who lived two centuries ago.
Handcrafted though they may be these gemstones possess wonderful luster and sparkle, and to the eye are completely transparent, but one cannot say with absolute certainty that they are absolutely flawless. True, the blemishes they possess are not visible to the naked eye, and to use trade jargon the gemstones can be characterized as "eye clean". To the eye they are indeed flawless. However magnified as they are here in the accompanying photo enlargements you might be able to pick out one or two slight blemishes within the gemstones, barely perceptible even at such high magnification. Of course the same may said about almost any antique gemstone of natural origin. An absolutely flawless gemstone simply is not the rule in nature. Most absolutely flawless gemstones will upon close examination be revealed to be synthetic. You might also notice under magnification occasional irregularities in the cut and finish. Naturally these characteristics are expected of antique hand-finished gemstones of natural origin.
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. It is precisely for these reasons 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 these antique gemstones more than makes up for the blemishes found within the gemstones, as well as the cutting irregularities common to handcrafted gemstones, all of which are by and large (if at all) are only visible under magnification.
SPESSART GARNET HISTORY: Spessartite is not as common as most other Garnets, and it is usually not found as a transparent, gemstone quality specimens. Originally found in Spessart, Bavaia, its occurrences remain very limited when contrasted with other varieties of garnet. When absolutely pure it is bright orange, the color derived from manganese and aluminum. But an increase in the iron content makes the stone darker orange to red. It is also known as “Spessartine”, which is the word for “forest” in German. In Renaissance Europe it was believed to assist in analytical abilities and self-exploration. It was also used in the treatment of lactose intolerance and calcium mal-absorption.
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. Archaeologists 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 the ancient pharaohs and royal families. 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. Due to its red color, ancient cultures associated garnet with blood, and thus garnet was thought to stop bleeding or bloodshed between enemies. Some primitive cultures believed that garnets could not only be used to stop bleeding, but would also cure inflammation. Ancients also believed that garnet was useful to resist melancholy and warn off evil spirits, especially spirits of the night, which were referred to as demons and night phantoms.
The ancients also 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. 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. Ancient Christians regarded the blood-red garnet to be symbolic of Christ’s sacrifice. 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.
SHIPPING & RETURNS/REFUNDS: Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are fully insured against loss, and our shipping rates include the cost of this coverage (through stamps.com, Shipsaver.com, the USPS, UPS, or Fed-Ex). International tracking is provided free by the USPS for certain countries, other countries are at additional cost. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per item so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with.
If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked 30-day return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price; 1) less our original shipping/insurance costs, 2) less non-refundable PayPal/eBay payment processing fees. Please note that PayPal does NOT refund fees. Even if you “accidentally” purchase something and then cancel the purchase before it is shipped, PayPal will not refund their fees. So all refunds for any reason, without exception, do not include PayPal/eBay payment processing fees (typically between 3% and 5%) and shipping/insurance costs (if any). If you’re unhappy with PayPal and eBay’s “no fee refund” policy, and we are EXTREMELY unhappy, please voice your displeasure by contacting PayPal and/or eBay. We have no ability to influence, modify or waive PayPal or eBay policies.
ABOUT US: Prior to our retirement we used to travel to Europe and Central Asia several times a year. Most of the items we offer came from acquisitions we made in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) during these years from various institutions and dealers. Much of what we generate on Etsy, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe and Asia connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. Though we have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, our primary interests are ancient jewelry and gemstones. Prior to our retirement we traveled to Russia every year seeking antique gemstones and jewelry from one of the globe’s most prolific gemstone producing and cutting centers, the area between Chelyabinsk and Yekaterinburg, Russia. From all corners of Siberia, as well as from India, Ceylon, Burma and Siam, gemstones have for centuries gone to Yekaterinburg where they have been cut and incorporated into the fabulous jewelry for which the Czars and the royal families of Europe were famous for.
My wife grew up and received a university education in the Southern Urals of Russia, just a few hours away from the mountains of Siberia, where alexandrite, diamond, emerald, sapphire, chrysoberyl, topaz, demantoid garnet, and many other rare and precious gemstones are produced. Though perhaps difficult to find in the USA, antique gemstones are commonly unmounted from old, broken settings – the gold reused – the gemstones recut and reset. Before these gorgeous antique gemstones are recut, we try to acquire the best of them in their original, antique, hand-finished state – most of them centuries old. We believe that the work created by these long-gone master artisans is worth protecting and preserving rather than destroying this heritage of antique gemstones by recutting the original work out of existence. That by preserving their work, in a sense, we are preserving their lives and the legacy they left for modern times. Far better to appreciate their craft than to destroy it with modern cutting.
Not everyone agrees – fully 95% or more of the antique gemstones which come into these marketplaces are recut, and the heritage of the past lost. But if you agree with us that the past is worth protecting, and that past lives and the produce of those lives still matters today, consider buying an antique, hand cut, natural gemstone rather than one of the mass-produced machine cut (often synthetic or “lab produced”) gemstones which dominate the market today. We can set most any antique gemstone you purchase from us in your choice of styles and metals ranging from rings to pendants to earrings and bracelets; in sterling silver, 14kt solid gold, and 14kt gold fill. When you purchase from us, you can count on quick shipping and careful, secure packaging. We would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from us. There is a $3 fee for mailing under separate cover. I will always respond to every inquiry whether via email or eBay message, so please feel free to write.
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