Almandite: iron aluminium silicate, 3FeO . Al2O3 . 3Si2
Pyrope: magnesium aluminium silicate
Spessartite: manganese aluminium silicate
Andradite: calcium iron silicate.
Grossular: calcium aluminium silicate
Uvarovite: calcium chromium silicate
The word "garnet" is believed to have come from the Greek word "granatum," or pomegranate seed, because ancient jewelry makers grouped the tiny gemstones in a cluster that resembled the seed-filled fruit. Deep red in color, almandine garnet is the most popular gem in the garnet family. Occasionally deep enough red to appear black, almandine garnet is sometimes hollowed in order to let light shine through the stone, highlighting its red color. Garnet displays the greatest variety of color of any mineral, occurring in every color except blue. More on...
Colors: Ranges from colorless to black though it is often thought of as only red
Connecticut is one of the finest sources in the world of the almandine garnet, named the state mineral by the 1977 General Assembly. An ancient gem, it was named "garnata" in the 13th century by Albertus Magnus and was known as the "Carbuncle" in its likeness to a small, red hot coal.
The garnets are actually a group of similar minerals, complex silicates of the same atomic structure, but differing in chemical composition. They vary in color from pale to dark tints, including the deep violet-red of the almandine garnet.
This mineral's hardness, 7 on the Mohs scale, has made the garnet useful as an abrasive, resulting in an important industry throughout Connecticut's history. It contributed to this development by providing the base for grinding wheels, saws, and the better cutting quality of garnet paper, a variety of sandpaper.
Idaho Star Garnet is treasured throughout the world by collectors. This stone is considered more precious than either Star Rubies or Star Sapphires. Normally the star in the Idaho Garnet has four rays, but occasionally one has six rays as in a sapphire. The color is usually dark purple or plum and the star seems to glide or float across the dark surface.
Deposits of this valuable stone were found near Fernwood, Idaho, in Benewah
County as early as the 1880s.
The stone is dark red or reddish purple in color. After it is polished, the stone usually has a shiny star floating across the surface. Most stars have four points, but some have six points. Star garnets can be found only in Idaho and the faraway country of India.
The garnet was adopted as the State gem in 1969. Garnets are used in jewelry and are a dark red color. One of the largest garnet mines in the world is located on Gore Mountain in the Adirondacks. Most garnet is used as an industrial abrasive, but occasionally gem quality stones are found. Garnet's hard, sharp features make it excellent for grinding lenses and for polishing glass and metal.
The name garnet comes from the Latin word for pomegranate, malum granatum, due to the resemblance of some varieties of garnet to red pomegranate seeds. Their use as gems has a history that goes back to the ancient Egyptians.
Grossular garnet, the State Gem, is technically a mineral -- a silicate, which is colored brown due to the presence of iron. Grossular garnet from the Belvidere Mine at Eden Mills is thought to be the finest specimen of its kind anywhere.
from Office of the Secretary of State, Vermont Legislative Directory and State Manual, Biennial Session, 1993-1994, p. 25.
Care and Treatment
Clean garnet with a dry soft cloth. As with all gemstones, care should be taken to protect it from scratches, sharp blows, harsh chemicals and extreme temperatures
There are various types of garnet with the hardness ranging from 7 - 7.5.
Specific Gravity: 7 to 7.5 variable
Rhodolite: Capillaries; skin elasticity; protection from pre- cancerous conditions.
Spessartine: Bad dreams; depression; anger; self esteem; hemorrhages; hormone imbalances; inflammations; sexual disease.
Garnet is found in Africa, Brazil, Canada, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, and the USA (Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Utah, and Virginia).
- January: Modern/Traditional/Ayurvedic Birthstone
Star Stone Months
It is said that Noah used a garnet on the bow of his ark to help navigate at night, and garnets have long been carried by people who are traveling, because they believe it will protect them from accidents. Legend has it that garnets protect their owners from nightmares, and garnets were even used as bullets because the shooters thought the red color would increase the intensity of the wound.