Garnet - Physical Properties & Healing Properties

GARNET

Chemistry: Ca3Al2(SiO4)3

Class: Silicates

Group: Garnet

Uses: Gemstone and abrasives

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    Specimens
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  • Grossular Garnet
  • Almandine Garnet
  • Spessartine Garnet
  • Garnet Polished


Garnet is not a single mineral, but describes a group of several closely related minerals. Garnets come in a variety of colors and have many different varieties. However, the most widely-known color of Garnet gemstones is dark red. The most common types and ones that wel sell on Kidz Rocks are Almandine, Grossular and Spessartine. Almandine is the most widely used Garnet gemstones.

Though Almandine is the most common form of garnet, it is usually opaque and not fit for gemstone use. Only the less common transparent dark red forms of Almandine are used as gemstones. Spessartite is an orange to orange-red form of garnet. Grossular, the most varicolored form of Garnet, has the important gem variety of green Tsavorite, as well as orange-brown Hessonite and a yellow to yellow-green form.


Origin Of The Name

The word Garnet is from Latin granatus, from granatum meaning pomegranate, because garnet is similar in color to the pulp of the fruit. Almandine is the modern gem known as carbuncle derived from the Latin meaning live coal or burning charcoal. The name Almandine is a corruption of Alabanda, a region in Asia Minor where these stones were cut in ancient times. Grossular is from the Latin grossularia meaning gooseberry. Hessonite is from the Greek hesson, meaning slight in reference to the smaller specific gravity.



Interesting Facts

Color-changing Garnet is an interesting form of this gemstone that has a different color when viewed in natural and incandescent lighting. It can have several color combinations, especially brown or orange in daylight to a pink or light red in incandescent light. Garnets occasionally display asterism in the form of four-rayed stars. However, Star Garnets are very rare, and generally occur in opaque stones with only a weak asterism effect; thus interest in Star Garnets are limited.



What Do We Do With It

Garnet is a very popular gemstone, and is the most well-known dark red gemstone. Red Garnet gemstones are very affordable and faceted into all types of jewerly, including necklaces, rings, bracelets, and earrings. Round cabochons of red Garnet are also popular and used in rings and bracelets. The variety Rhodolite has become a very important jewelry gemstone, and the rare green Tsavorite and Demantoid Garnets make exquisite and costly gemstones. Color Changing Garnet has sparked recent interest, and it is most often used in rings. Other forms of Garnets such as orange Spessartite, yellow Grossular and black Melanite are also used as gemstones.

Garnets with a high hardness are used as an abrasive, and can be made into sandpaper known as Garnet paper. Well formed crystals and interesting aggregates very popular among mineral collectors.

Garnet is the birthstone for January.



Metaphysical Uses

Grossular Garnet exemplifies hope, empowerment, and all things nurturing from Mother Earth. In shades as varied as a magnificent sunrise, to the lush and verdant greens of growth and renewal, it is a stone of prosperity and abundance; encouraging gratitude and service to others. As a potent prosperity stone, Grossular Garnet is healing of all limitations on the physical level, in health or wealth.

As a stone of strength, Grossular Garnet will benefit new business ventures, promoting growth and warm client contact. It strengthens stability in lawsuits and challenges, transforming lower forms of response and reaction to loving forms of reply. Grossular Garnet enhances relaxation and going with the flow, and inspires service and cooperation. It also injects some romance and fun into an over-practical life, boosting passion and energy in a love weighed down by worry. Grossular Garnet physical healing properties include aiding in recovery of illness or trauma by regenerating new cell growth and stimulating the blood.

It also detoxifies and alleviates inflammations throughout the body and boosts the immune and respiratory system. Grossular Garnet is an excellent crystal to soothe and reduce emotional extremes, encouraging social growth and service to community.



Physical Characteristics

Color: Red, brown, black, green, yellow, orange, pink, white, and colorless.

Luster: Vitreous, adamantine, dull.

Transparency: Transparent to opaque.

Crystal System: Isometric

Crystal Habits: In well-formed, distinct, dodecahedral and trapezohedral crystals. Also in compact crystal groupings, grainy, massive, as rounded crystals, and as groups of small crystals.

Cleavage: None.

Fracture: Conchoidal to uneven.

Hardness: 6.5 - 8.0

Specific Gravity: 3.5 - 4.3

Streak: Colorless



Educational Videos

Mining Giant Garnet Crystals in New South Wales, Australia


Cutting and Polishing Garnets