ALL THINGS GARNET
Garnets owe their name to their red variation's similarity to a popular fruit: the word comes from a Middle English word meaning "dark red" and is derived from a Latin word meaning "grain" or "seed."
This is believed to be a reference to the seed covers of the pomegranate. They range in color from dark red -- the color the stone is best known for -- to nearly clear, including many colors along the spectrum. One thing all garnets share is relative hardness, a factor that explains why some of the hardest garnets have been used as abrasives. When crushed, it breaks into angular shapes whose sharp edges are useful for industrial use. Surprisingly, most of the use of crushed garnet is in water jet cutting of metal, ceramic or stone. Another industrial use is as a filter media in filtration systems.
Garnet is a relatively well-known gemstone, but the term actually describes a group of similar minerals that share physical properties and crystal forms, while differing in chemical composition. The types include pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, uvarovite and andradite. Usually found embedded in metamorphic, igneous and sedimentary rocks, garnets are ubiquitous because they are easy to mine.
Because some garnets are created in volcanic eruptions deep below the Earth's mantle -- as are diamonds -- garnets are sometimes considered "indicator minerals" that lead geologists and mining companies to diamond finds. Not only are garnets a beautiful gemstone when cut and polished correctly, but are one of the most useful stones in a range of other industries. It's rare that the same gemstone can be plentiful, useful and beautiful, but garnets are an example of just that. We sell the beautiful ones!