car·bun·cle | ˈkär-ˌbəŋ-kəl
A garnet cut en cabochon
This jewelry term refers to a garnet that is cut en cabochon. The garnet, which is a deep red gemstone and the birthstone of January, is a silicate mineral that has been used in jewelry for millennia - as early as the Bronze Age. A garnet is considered a carbuncle when it is cut into a smooth, rounded shape and is polished but not faceted, and has a rounded top and flat bottom. Carbuncles are typically found cut to be circular or oval in shape. They first became popular during the 15th century in Europe. During these Medieval times, people believed that carbuncles contained magical and mystical properties that were highly desirable. It was also believed that carbuncles contained healing capabilities and that they helped resolve emotional issues between people, in particular between romantic partners. During the Victorian Era, carbuncles rose in popularity and were a common stone found on pendants and brooches.