Garnet Gemstone

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Garnets as a group are relatively common in highly metamorphosed rocks and in some igneous formations. Some garnets are truly unique in the mineral kingdom and have much to offer as both gemstones and mineral specimens. Garnets belong to the isometric crystal class, which produces very symmetrical, cube-based crystals. The most common crystal shape for garnets is the rhombic dodecahedron, a twelve sided crystal with diamond-shaped (rhombic) faces. Most garnets are red in color, leading to the erroneous belief that all garnets are red. In fact a few varieties, such as grossular, can have a wide range of colors, and uvarovite is always a bright green gemstone.A rather unusual variety of small pyrope garnets found in Arizona are called “anthill garnets” because they are mined by ants, who carry them out of the ground when they are excavating their anthills.

The hardness of garnets makes them useful as an abrasive. Hard, high-grade garnets are ground up and used to make garnet paper, a popular sandpaper for use in fine sanding and polishing of wood, leather, glass, metals, and plastics. Lower-grade garnets are used as sandblasting agents and in the manufacture of nonskid surface coatings.

The name Garnet is thought to have come from the word pomegranate. Many ancient pieces of garnet jewelry are studded with tiny red stones that resemble a cluster of pomegranate seeds and was the main jewel used by Celtic high Kings in their jewellery and artefacts.

Traditionally, garnets have been carried by travellers to protect against accidents far from home. In ancient Asia and the American Southwest, garnets were used as bullets because the glowing red color was said to increase the ferocity of a wound.

In legend, garnets light up the night and protect their owners from nightmares

It is warming, both emotionally and physically and so is good for arthritis, rheumatism, anaemia and low blood pressure increasing stamina, exciting passion and boosting confidence. Avoid if prone to anger or high blood pressure.

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