Pomegranate: one but fiery passion
Garnet gemstone is without a doubt the favorite of many women. This semiprecious mineral literally captivates with its magical sparkle and attracts with its romance and passion. Well, if you heard about Kuprin’s story “Pomegranate Bracelet”, then without further ado you know that pomegranate stone turned out to be a symbol of eternal, albeit unhappy love.
But do not think that pomegranate is a stone of exclusively red color, a sort of more affordable version of ruby. Firstly, there are quite a few shades of this mineral in the world. And secondly, ask any owner of garnet jewelry if this jewel is self-sufficient. Surely the answer will be enthusiastic and extremely positive. Let us take a closer look at this fiery passion – a gem born of nature itself to the joy of humanity.
Garnet gemstone is a mineral that we have known about for several millennia. Legends have been preserved that the ancient Romans and Greeks, Persians and Scythians began to create jewelry based on it. Nowadays, it is one of the most popular precious gems.
They say that the name grenade that we understand today was given by the famous German scientist and alchemist Albert Magnus at the end of the 13th century. Translated from Latin, the word “pomegranate”, consonant, of course, with a popular fruit, means, according to various sources, “similar to grains”, “grain” or simply “pomegranate grain”. But before it was called in a completely different way:
in Greece it was an “anthrax”, that is, a “coal”;
in Rome – “carbuncle”;
in Russia – “bekhet”, “venice”, “mealybug”.
Interestingly, the three names used by our distant ancestors are words denoting different types of pomegranate. In ancient books you can also find options for “worm yachts” (for red pomegranates) and “olivines” (for greens).
It is believed that the first mention of pomegranate dates back to about 1000 g BC. e. Our distant ancestors were not very versed in the quality of precious stones, and therefore there were often cases when any red stones were called grenades. Then, of course, the situation changed, and since then we clearly know the difference, for example, between spinels, garnets and rubies.
One of the amazing myths about the origin of pomegranate can be called a Georgian legend. They say that a long time ago the Georgian king lived in the world, and he had a beautiful daughter. When it was time to marry her, the king was worried about finding worthy suitors. All applicants for the beauty’s hand and heart should have found three ripened pomegranates. True, not every fruit was suitable, but only one that grew on a magic tree located in the wild desert. That tree was guarded by evil spirits, and the venture of the Georgian king seemed suicidal to many daredevils.
But one of the worthy sons of Georgia turned out to be incredibly bold and successful, courageous and cunning. He overcame all the trials and, picking up three grenades, rushed off on the return trip. Unfortunately, famine reigned in his country, and the old king was preparing to die. The clever young man decided to try his luck and open each of the grenades. Then three miracles happened in turn: at the opening of the first fruit, the old king recovered, the second – the gardens blossomed and an unprecedented harvest was instantly obtained, which saved the country from hunger.
And here is the third fruit … and it was the most amazing! When the young man opened it, precious stones sprinkled from the pomegranate instead of grains. But they did not go to the Georgian daredevil! Once free, pebbles scattered all over the world. And since then they bring love and prosperity to everyone who finds them. The young man, however, was not offended. They say he married the beautiful princess and wisely ruled the country after the death of the old prince. Fairy tale? Of course. But what a beautiful one, agree!
The red pomegranate (also called pyrope) can be found in the Bible. So, according to the Old Testament, it was this stone that illuminated Noah’s path during the time of the global flood and impenetrable darkness. This mineral was especially appreciated in the East, both in antiquity and in the Middle Ages. Red pomegranate was revered as a talisman that helps to keep love, loyalty and devotion. Moreover, the love in question was not limited to falling in love and passion. So, to receive pomegranate as a gift meant that you are a respected person, and that you have a friend or subordinate who treats you very warmly.
The Mongols poetically called pomegranate “drops of dragon blood” or “frozen fire of volcanoes that glows in the dark.” For them, pomegranate was a real sacred stone, which helps its owner to find good luck and prosperity. But the Persians were sure that the red gem is a real royal stone. To fix their beliefs for a long time, if not forever, they learned to carve the faces of deities or rulers of their country on grenades. By the way, modern gems or cameos (rounded stones on which some image or pattern is carved) came from Persian jewelers.