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Garnet Gemstones

Finding  Garnet . Red-Pinkie- Purple Colour.

Fossicking for Garnet in the area in North West Queensland Australia , there is a lot of different places to find Garnets. Out side Cloncurry there is a hill where we go, and there is garnet everywhere , only trouble, they have all mostly got flaws in them. They do come out nice and shinny out of the tumbler. Mine you, you can find good ones, that can be faceted Garnets.

Check out the video below and find out about finding garnets at Fullarton River. Fullarton River turn off is on the Winton road.

Garnets come in all colours. In addition to these six species, there are a number of other garnet varieties that are distinguished in the gem trade, based on their colour or other special properties. Altogether there are at least 17 different varieties of garnet.

In real life I have see a green garnet that had that many fractures.  Also a red garnet until you put it in the light, it is more pinkie to purple. These Garnets are from Fullarton River outside Cloncurry. The area is a Qld Government fossicking area.

 

Garnet Colour

Garnet is available in a veritable plethora of colours, such as yellow, orange, peach, green, red, purple, blue (rare), brown and pink. However, the most commonly occurring colour is red and the rarest is blue. Garnet also rarely occurs in colour-change varieties, which have a different colour depending on whether they are viewed in incandescent or natural light. The rarest colour-change garnet appears blue in daylight, and changes to purplish-red under torch light. Other colour-change garnets are green, beige, brown or grey in daylight, and change to reddish or purplish-pink under incandescent light. The colour of garnet is the most important quality factor.

 

 

Identifying Garnets

Garnet can be identified by its occurrence in metamorphic rock, its hardness (6.5 – 7.5 on the Mohs scale), colour, refractive index and cubic crystal structure. However, the quickest way to identify garnet is with the use of strong neodymium magnets. Garnet is attracted to neodymium magnets because it contains high concentrations of iron and/or manganese.

Garnet Cut and Shape

Rhodolite Garnet
Rhodolite Garnet

Garnets are extremely versatile and can be cut in any fashion and shape. Red garnet tends to be cut into standard shapes, whereas valuable garnets that are not often found in large sizes, such as Tsavorite and Demantoid, are cut into shapes that retain the most carat weight.

gneiss

Garnet are very common.

Garnets have come in Many Colours.

 They also have many names: Almandine, Andradite, Demantoid, Grossularite, Hessonite, Pyrope, Rhodolite, Tsavorite, Spessartine, and Uvarovite, to quote but a few. But let us restrict ourselves to the most important and begin with the red garnets.  See the colour chart at the bottom of the page.

pear-tsavorite-garnet-gem
Green Tsavorite Garnet

 

Almandine Garnet
Almandine Garnet

Pyrope Garnet.

 Fiery red pyrope. Its spirited red, often with a slight brownish nuance, was a gemstone colour much in demand in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Pyrope is an individual member mineral of the Garnet group. Its dark, blood-red color is distinct and attractive, and makes a fine Garnet gemstone.

Almandine Garnet.

Almandine is perhaps the most common garnet. Gemstones always have some spessartine and pyrope components, and this creates a wide range of colours, including brown, red-brown, purplish red, wine red, purple, and deep red. Inclusions of asbestiform minerals (pyroxene or amphibole) create a chatoyancy that yields, in cabochons, a 4-rayed star.

Almandine Valuegar

It is also a popular gemstone and the most widely used Garnet in the gem trade. More gemstones are faceted from Almandine than any other type of Garnet. Only a small amount of Almandine crystals are transparent and light enough for gemstone use; most of the Almandine found is rough and opaque and not gem quality. Some Almandine Garnets display asterism ( star pattern) when polished as cabochons, and are known as “Star Garnets”.

garnet1
Mica Schists

Almandine is often embedded in a mica schists, and forms very nice matrix pieces with perfectly formed symmetrical crystals. The schist matrix often breaks up due to weathering, resulting in the Almandine crystals breaking loose into individual, perfectly formed floater crystals which may be quite large.

 

Almandine, an iron- rich Garnet, is a minerals often found in metamorphic rocks such as gneiss.

Metamorphic Minerals.

In Mountain-forming areas, heat and pressure change existing rocks, and new minerals grow. These metamorphic minerals usually have a good crystal shape. Some Minerals, such as garnet, form over hundreds of thousands of years as heat and pressure gradually alter the rock

The Garnet can grow as large, eye shaped grains called Augens

garnet-amphibolite
Garnet Gneiss: A coarse-grained gneiss composed mainly of hornblende (black), plagioclase (white), and garnet (red) from Norway. Public domain photo by Woudloper.

 

Gneiss is a foliated metamorphic rock that has a banded appearance and is made up of granular mineral grains. It typically contains abundant quartz or feldspar minerals.

 

 

 

 

Garnet colour Chart.

garnet2

 

 

 

 Looking for Garnet at Fullarton River outside Cloncurry north Qld.


I hope you have enjoyed this blog about garnets.

Have a nice day

Wendy. Please leave a comment.

Thank You.

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