History: Jewelry set with
garnets became popular in the last part of the 1800s. In shades of red,
from pomegranate to dark scarlet, they were cut for faceted point back
stones, domed cabochons and beads. Garnets were favored for their
dramatic appearance against the skin and for their rich sparkle in the
glow of electroliers, the new lighting of the era.
Garnets were mined from Mount Kozakov in Bohemia, a region noted for its
network of cottage workshops, with families specializing in different
aspects of jewelry production. Bohemian garnet, a relatively soft stone,
was faceted with pedal-operated tin wheels in the workshops of
stonecutters. Since the coloration is deepest red, faceting a pointed
top produced the most reflection and color. Top faceting like simple
chatons, checkerboards and rauten cuts were preferred over the
traditional point back shape.
To mount garnets, metalsmithing workshops were kept busy in the
production of repousee stampings. casting and handmade filigrees.
Garnets were set into the plainest one stone earrings to bracelets,
collars and tiaras of clustered stones, graduated sizes and complex
After WWI, Bohemia became a region of the newly formed Czecho-Slovakia
in 1918. As popular demand for jewelry surged, glassmakers of imitation
jewels began producing stones and beads in garnet colored crystal. The
enchantment of garnet crystal jewelry has never waned. Sweet Romance
offers several Victorian Sweetheart pieces reminiscent of garnet and
seed pearl jewelry of the early 1900s.