What is Garnet
Garnet is a kind of gemstone that looks like the seed of pomegranate and got its name by this reason; in eastern countries, Garnet with red purple color has a nickname in Chinese which was said to be originated from "Ruby" in Arabic pronunciation. Actually, Garnet is a group of similar minerals rather than a specific mineral, and in most people’s impression it is red, but in fact it has many colors like Tourmaline and Topaz. Garnet appears in different colors and hardness depends on the chemical composition. Among all colors of Garnet, Blue one which contains rich vanadium is the rarest, and the Mohs hardness of Garnet is range 6 to 7.5.
Types of Garnet
PyropeThe color of Pyrope can be dark red to nearly black and only the ones with high transparency will be viewed as gems. In North Carolina, there is a kind of Garnet which is an isomorphous mixture of Pyrope and Almandine, people name this kind of Garnet rhodolite, which means rose in Greek, to describe its violet-red color.
AlmandineIt is normally in deep red or reddish-brown color, the price increase when it is deep red with good transparency. The red Garnet gemstones are usually Almandine, so it is also called Precious Garnet. Sometimes it is hard to distinguish Pyrope and Almandine by their appearance.
SpessartineIt can be in red, pink or orange color. The reddish orange ones, which is the feature of Spessartine, are getting popular in recent years.
AndraditeIt can be red, brown, yellow, green or black due to the chemical composition. The most valuable Garnet, Demantoid is the green Andradite. Demantoid has higher dispersity than Diamond, however, it does not show its scintillation as obvious as Diamond because of its green color. Even so, People still use the ancient German word, Demantoid, means like Diamond, to denominate this beautiful green Garnet. Some Demantoid found in Russia has horsetail-shape inclusions, since it can be a symbol of natural, the price of Demantoid with horsetail inclusions is higher than others. Some say that few Demantoid from Iran or Italy has the inclusions, too.
GrossularIt is known by its cinnamon brown and honey color, In Chinese, people recognize it as “cinnamon stone”. Some Grossular is in green hue due to small amount of chromium or vanadium, this kind of Garnet has another name, Tsavorite. Unlike some gemstones, Tsavorite does not need heating or other treatment to enhance the color, it has high transparency and attractive green color naturally.
UvaroviteCompare to other kinds of Garnet, Uvarovite has some unique characteristics. It is the only kind of Garnet that just appears in green. Differ from other kinds of Garnet, Uvarovite does not often used for jewelry manufacturing, Uvarovite is rare, but mostly, appears in small crystals is the main reason, it is more common to process Uvarovite with drusy form.
Legend of Garnet
- Garnet was regarded as an amulet, travelers thought Garnet can prevent accident and illness.
- In Bible, there was a light made of Garnet on Noah's ark that glowed when the world was in darkness.
- Garnet was being used as bullet by ancient Asian and American Indians, they believed these red stone could cause more harm.
- Garnet is a symbol of eternity, 18 years of marriage is called Garnet Wedding, Garnet is also an anniversary gemstone for 2nd year wedding anniversary.
Application of Garnet
Since Bronze period, Garnet has been used as abrasive,and owing to its property of hardness and tenacity, Garnet is now widely used in mechanical industry. Garnet can be sandblasting materials, it can be added in concrete as well to make wear-resisting concrete for freeway and runway. There are researchers trying to invent Garnet batteries, which they believe is more stable, for replacing lithium batteries.
Origin of Garnet
Garnet can be found all over the world though not every place has the same kinds. It can be found in America, Brazil, Africa, Myanmar and Russia and other places. The scarcest blue Garnet was first found in Madagascar and was discovered in America, Russia and Turkey later.