LivingTravelCzech Garnets in Prague Tourists flock to Prague to...

Czech Garnets in Prague Tourists flock to Prague to buy garnets, but beware of counterfeits!

Czech garnets, also known as Bohemian garnets or Prague garnets, are pyrope-red gemstones. The best garnets have been mined in the Czech Republic for several centuries. While most people think of a blood red stone, garnets come in different colors and types – black and clear garnets are common too, and there is also a rare green variety of garnet.

Czech garnet jewelry is traditionally characterized by many small garnets packed together so that the garnets cover the piece. In more modern jewelry pieces, solitary stones are often displayed in simple settings that bring out the color and cut of the garnet.

History of Prague garnets

The history of Prague and the marketing of its garnets dates back to the early 17th century, according to the Bohemian Garnet Museum. Emperor Rudolf II ordered the establishment of an imperial mill in Prague so that raw and raw garnets could be cut and drilled. As early as 1598, the emperor authorized gem cutters to export Bohemian garnets.

The Bohemian garnet mining practice attracted seekers from all over the world, with many of them coming from Venice and other parts of Italy to obtain the unique gemstone. During the reign of Empress Maria Theresa, the right to cut and drill Bohemian garnets was limited exclusively to Bohemia, a practice that lasted until the end of the 19th century.

In present-day Prague and the Czech Republic, garnet prices vary according to its quality, quantity and size. The metal in which the stones are placed and the design and number of stones will also affect how expensive a garnet piece of jewelry is.

As with any purchase, especially while traveling as a tourist, be sure to purchase garnets from a reputable dealer. Many foreigners (and more than a few locals) have been tricked into buying fake Czech garnets. It is an easy mistake to make and a well-known problem in the major business districts of Prague. Even popular travel guides like the American Automobile Association warn tourists about the abundance of fake garnets in Prague jewelry stores.

Where to buy garnets

The streets of the tourist areas of Prague are lined with shops of Czech garnets. It’s definitely smart to shop around to try and find a good deal, especially if you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind piece or on a budget. Take your time and visit more than one jeweler.

Buyers will generally get better prices at garnet stores farthest from the central market, but make sure you know where you are going and who you will be dealing with. As with any transaction conducted in a foreign country, it doesn’t hurt to have someone with you who speaks the language when buying garnets (or any other high-priced item, for that matter).

One of the best known and most reputable garnet sellers in Prague includes Granat Turnov, the largest producer of Bohemian garnets. Granat Turnov was formed as a cooperative of small goldsmiths in 1953. It has outlets in Prague and other cities in the Czech Republic.

Another reliable source, Halada, is a high-end family jeweler with three locations, all in the Prague area.

Finding Czech Goods in Prague Here's how to hit the jackpot and find art,...

One of the best side benefits of traveling is taking home as locally made and iconic country souvenirs. If you go to Prague,

Free things to do in Prague

These free Prague attractions and activities will give you a chance to see the best parts of the city without spending a penny. Many of the best

Tips for visiting Prague castle

Prague Castle is one of the top Prague attractions and can be one of your most memorable Prague experiences. Use these tips to

Czech Christmas gifts from Prague

When you travel to Prague, regardless of the time of year, you may be shopping for gifts to present to your loved ones at home. Consider these ideas to

6 castle hotels in Prague and the Czech Republic Royal hospitality in palaces and...

What can make your vacation in Prague or the Czech Republic even more special? A weekend in an old palace or castle, of course. The