Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Many Different Shades of Garnets

When we refer to garnets, most people are familiar with the common red garnet since it is the principal color . However, there are several subgroups of garnets, each with their own distinct color and name. Actually, there are approximately 10 subgroups of garnets.
While garnets share similar chemical compositions, they are available in a spectrum of colors.
The name 'garnet' is Latin in origin and means grain because of the rounded crystals.
Dating back to the days of antiquity, garnets were set in crowns for European Royalty, as well as set in weapons and shields for Knights and warriors.
Almandine garnets have a pink/red hue, spessartites are orange to red-brown, grossulars range from green, yellow to copper-brown, demantoids are green, while uvarovite are emerald green.
On the Moh's scale of hardness they range between 7 and 7 1/2 and therefore wear very well.. Garnet mines are located in Bohemia, Madagascar, India, South Africa, Australia, Canada and the U.S.A.
Folklore has it that garnets strengthen the heart and memory and brings hope to people.
It is also believed that Noah used a garnet lantern to guide his Ark through the dark nights.
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