Garnet has a long and storied history dating back to before the Bronze Age. These stones have long been prized for their beauty and brilliance. These gemstones are used in creating jewelry and are used in industrial applications for polishing grinding. Industrial garnet can be commonly found in sandpapers and other abrasive materials. The color of these stones covers almost the entire spectrum of colors from deep reds to vibrant greens and yellows.
Where Are Garnets Found?
Garnet is found in a surprisingly wide area of the planet, though Montana, New York and Idaho are the only areas in the United States where garnet is mined and is of an industrial quality, though gem-quality star garnet can be found in Idaho. Some other areas of the world that provide gem-quality stones include China, areas of Africa, South America, northern Europe and Thailand.
The name garnet actually refers to a wide variety of gemstone species, with each species representing a different base color. Initially discovered in Scandinavia and areas of the Middle East, discovery these stones dates back to around 3100 B.C. The earliest use as a gemstone seems to date back to around 400 B.C. in areas of southern Europe.
Garnet is considered to represent the month of January and is most closely associated with the astrological birth sign of Aquarius. Its significance as a birthstone is said to date back to the time of Moses and is recognized as one of the twelve original birthstones and are said to represent the original twelve tribes of Israel.
New Age Beliefs, Uses and Powers Through The Ages
Like many mineral crystals, garnet is believed to impart healing qualities to the wearer and these beliefs date back to biblical times, through the medieval period times and into the New Age. Among other beliefs during medieval times, these beautiful stones were even rumored to protect the bearer from poisons and venoms. People in the New Age community believe that garnet has healing properties that benefit the physical and mental wellbeing of the bearer with the ability to purify the body and even cure or eliminate certain diseases.
Other Names Known By
Garnets come in very wide choice of colors and are categorized by color with reds such as pyrope and almandine, oranges like Spessartite, black as in melanite and greens and yellows like grossular, demantoid and topazolite.
Artificial Forms of Enhancement
There no known enhancements possible in naturally-occurring garnet.
The color of this stone varies throughout the color spectrum with the exception of blue.
General Scientific Information
The chemical names vary by species X3Y2(SiO4)3 otherwise referred to as nesosilicates.
Almandine garnet Fe3Al2(SiO4)3 otherwise referred to as Iron Aluminum Silicate.
Androdite garnet Ca3Fe2(SiO4)3 otherwise referred to as Calcium Iron Silicate.
Grossular garnet Ca3Al2(SiO4)3 otherwise referred to as Calcium Aluminum Silicate.
Pyrope garnet Mg3Al2(SiO4)3 otherwise referred to as Magnesium Aluminum Silicate.
Spessartine Mn3Al2(SiO4)3 otherwise referred to as Manganese Aluminum Silicate.
Uvarovite garnet Ca3Cr2(SiO4)3 otherwise referred to as Calcium Chromium Silicate.
Hardness measures 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale – the Mohs scale measures the hardness of metals, minerals, gemstones and crystals on a scale of 1 to 10. For example the hardness properties of most quartz crystals fall around 7 on the scale, as does steel and titanium. Diamond is the hardest known substance on the Mohs scale coming in at a hard 10. To most consumers hardness generally reflects the stones able to resist scratches and cracks.
There is no cleavage found in garnet and breaks into irregularly shaped pieces with sharp edges.
The color of this stone is said to come from irons, magnesium and calcium.
The specific gravity is approximately 3.8.
The crystalline system is isometric.
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