Sunday, January 29, 2012

A Gem of an Education: Garnet

Ever wanted to know a little more about your favorite gemstones?  Well, you're in luck!  Every week you can check in here and learn some fun facts about gemstones.  Today, I'll be talking about January's birthstone, Garnet.

The most commonly known form of Garnet is a deep burgundy red color.  It's color resembles the juicy seeds of a pomegranate, which is perhaps why its name is derived from the Latin word for pomegranate seeds, "granatum". 
Deposits are found in Africa, India, Russia, South America, Madagascar, Pakistan and the United States.  Manufacturers often used a dyed red polish to help intensify it's beautiful color.  On the "Mohs Scale of mineral hardness" (I'll explain more about this in a later post), Garnet ranges from 7-7 1/2.  Since a diamond is considered a "10", Garnet is a pretty durable stone.  Now if I stopped there, most of you would say that you didn't learn too much more than you already knew about Garnet.  However, did you know that there are also several other varieties of Garnet? 

A few of my favorite varieties of Garnet are:
*Black Garnet - also known as melanite, it contains titanium which makes it a deep, glossy black.
*Grossularite Garnet - colors range from light to dark green and from champagne to brown.

*Hessonite Garnet - also called "cinnamon stone", this garnet has shading from rootbeer to orange & citrus colored tones.  It's mined in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Madagascar & Canada.

*Spessartite Garnet - red-brown to bright orange, this garnet is named for it's occurence in Spessart, Germany.  Currently mined from Sri Lanka & Brazil.
*Kashgar Garnet - a relatively new gemstone discovered in Northern China, this form of garnet has more of an opaque appearance and features a marbled look of red and green earth tones.
So there you have it!  I hope you learned something new today about Garnet and that you'll check back for the next featured stone.

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