Garnet is the name used for a large group of rock-forming minerals. Best known as a red gemstone and the birthstone of January. Garnet occurs in many colors and has many industrial uses.
Let us see Where is Garnet found in detail in this article.
Table of Contents
What does Garnet mean?
Love and Friendship. With associations with the heart, blood, inner fire, and life force, garnets have long been considered symbols of love. Garnet’s symbolism also extends to friendship.
How Does Garnet Form?
Garnet in Metamorphic Rocks.Most garnet forms at convergent plate boundaries where shale is being acted upon by regional metamorphism. The heat and pressure of metamorphism break chemical bonds and cause minerals to recrystallize into structures that are stable under the new temperature-pressure environment. The aluminum garnet, almandine, generally forms in this environment.
As these rocks are metamorphosed, the garnets start as tiny grains and enlarge slowly over time as metamorphism progresses. As they grow, they displace, replace, and include the surrounding rock materials. The photo below shows a microscopic view of a garnet grain that has grown within a schist matrix.
It included a number of the host rock’s mineral grains as it grew. This explains why so many garnets formed by regional metamorphism are highly included.
The calcium garnets typically form when argillaceous limestone is altered into marble by contact metamorphism along the edges of igneous intrusions. These are andradite, grossular, and uvarovite, the slightly softer, typically green garnets with lower specific gravity. Two calcium garnets are highly regarded in the gem trade; they are tsavorite (bright green grossular) and demantoid (a golden-green andradite).
Garnet is a common mineral in skarns. Skarns are metamorphic rocks that have been chemically and mineralogically altered by metasomatism. In the metasomatism process, hot, chemically active fluids flow through the rocks to cause recrystallization and compositional change. Skarns are usually rich in garnet, pyroxene minerals, carbonate minerals, and quartz.
Where Is Garnet Found?
Garnets are found all over the world. There are many types of garnets and each type is found in different locations. Pyrope can be found in South Africa, Sri Lanka, China, and Madagascar, while Almandite originates from India, Brazil, and the USA.
Among the varieties of Garnets, Almandine is the most commonly found while Demantoid is the rarest form of Garnet. Pyrope and Rhodolite are forms that are quite common in the gem trade and the dark red color of Garnets is symbolic of this stone.
Garnet, most commonly the rhodolite variety, is a gemstone coupled to January. Every species of garnet, and there are many, possess similar crystal formations and physical properties, but differ in chemical composition. These mineral variations form a set of closely related gemstones, called a mineral group.
The gemstone species of garnet include pyrope, almandine, spessartine, grossular, uvarovite, and andradite. Most gem-quality varieties of this mineral are a mixture of two or three of these mineral species. For example, rhodolite garnet is a mixture of pyrope and almandine.
The most popular varieties of Garnet include the reddish and purple hues of the gemstone. These shades have a very long history, appearing in pieces found in both ancient Egypt and Rome. The popularity of red garnet may stem from its amble availability. It forms in metamorphic rocks that are found on every continent.
Today there is a wide array of garnet hues available to choose from including reds, pinks, oranges, yellows, greens, browns, and even blues. New species and deposits of garnet have been found all over the world. Listed below are the locations where garnet naturally occurs and is mined to be transformed into beautifully faceted gemstones.
- Brazil – Brazil is home to a vast array of garnet varieties.
- Namibia – Namibia produces stunning spessartine garnets with strong orange hues.
- Kenya – Kenya is home to the famous Scorpion mine that is world-renowned for its tsavorite garnets.
- Tanzania – Tsavorite, a green variety of garnet, was first discovered in Tanzania.
- Iran – A recent discovery of demantoid, a green garnet variety, has made Iran a new supplier of the gem.
- Afghanistan – Afghanistan is one of the largest suppliers of spessartine garnet.
- Pakistan – Dazzling spessartine garnets can be found in the Kashmir reign of Pakistan.
- Sri Lanka – Sri Lanka is a major supplier of rhodolite garnet, the common deep reddish-purple variety of gemstones.
- India – Red garnets can be found in Orissa, India.
- Myanmar – Rare and beautiful reddish-orange spessartine garnets can be found in Myanmar. Several other varieties are also mined here.
- Russia – Russia is the source of demantoid garnets, the rare deep green variety of the gemstone.
If garnet is your gem of choice, let us at Knox Jewelers help you custom create a one-of-a-kind piece of jewelry to showcase this beautiful gemstone. The possibility is endless with a mineral available in so many sizes, shapes, and a rainbow of colors. A Knox Jewelers custom-created piece, featuring a beautiful garnet is the perfect way to celebrate any occasion falling within the month. Contact us today and let’s get started. We have a vast inventory of garnets, in many colors, just waiting to be transformed!
Where is Garnet found naturally?
The rock-forming garnets are most common in metamorphic rocks. A few occur in igneous rocks, especially granites and granitic pegmatites. Garnets derived from such rocks occur sporadically in clastic sediments and sedimentary rocks.
Where can you find Garnet?
Today, different types of garnet are found across different parts of the globe. Pyrope Garnet is located in Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, and Thailand. Almandite is found in parts of Brazil, India, Madagascar, and the US. Spessartite is also found in Brazil, as well as China, Kenya, and Madagascar.
Where did Garnets come from?
Garnets are found in metamorphic and igneous rocks. They form under extremely high temperatures and pressure. Garnet deposits are found in Africa, India, Russia, South America, Madagascar, Pakistan, and the United States.
What countries have Garnet?
Today, garnets mostly come from African countries, but also India, Russia, and Central and South America.
How did Garnet get its name?
The name “garnet” originates from the medieval Latin granatus, meaning “pomegranate,” to the similarity of the red color. Garnets have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives.
What country is famous for Garnets?
The finest garnets have been mined in the Czech Republic for several centuries.
Where was Garnet first found?
Garnets are one of the most ancient gemstones known to man, with a history that goes back more than 5000 years and was discovered amongst the artifacts of Ancient Egypt and Sumeria
Quick Look at the Varieties of Garnet and their Locations
- Red garnets
Red garnets are found all over the world, with deposits on every continent.
- Demantoid garnets
This characteristic, prized by collectors, is found in specimens from Russia, Iran, and Italy. Demantoid garnets are also mined in Namibia and Madagascar. After their initial discovery, demantoid garnets became highly coveted within the European aristocracy, so you will often see them in fine Victorian jewelry.
- Tsavorite garnets
This variety of garnets is relatively recent in jewelry, as it wasn’t discovered until 1967 when it was found in Tanzania. It eventually got its name when deposits were found near Tsavo National Park in Kenya.
- Mali garnets
As their name implies, this variety was discovered in the West African country of Mali in 1994.
- Hessonite garnet
Primarily mined in Sri Lanka, it is also found in Brazil, India, Canada, Madagascar, and Tanzania. Hessonite garnet is one of the nine planetary gemstones in Vedic astrology and is believed to promote success, wealth, and longevity.
- Spessartite (or spessartine) garnet
The name derives from the forested mountain region in Germany where it was discovered in the 1880s. Despite this early discovery, spessartite wasn’t commonly used in jewelry until more recent discoveries in Namibia and Mozambique. This variety is also found in Myanmar, Brazil, China, Sri Lanka, Kenya, Madagascar, Tanzania, and the U.S.
- Rhodolite garnets
These can be a more affordable alternative to purple and pink sapphires. This garnet variety is mined in Tanzania, Mozambique, Brazil, Sri Lanka, and North Carolina in the U.S. Read here about the Rhodolite Garnet Meaning, Healing Properties, Meaning and Uses.
- Anthill garnets
Due to the nature of how they are mined, ant hill garnets are usually less than one carat. This phenomenon is best known to occur in the Navajo reservation of Arizona. The pyrope garnets found there is a deep, dark red color.
- Color change garnets
Important sources for this variety of garnet include Tanzania, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Norway, and Idaho in the U.S.
- Star garnets
Commercially sourced star garnets are only found in Idaho in the U.S. and India.
Garnet has been used as a gemstone for over 5000 years. It has been found in the jewelry of many Egyptian burials and was the most popular gemstone of Ancient Rome. It is a beautiful gem that is usually sold without treatment of any kind. It is also durable and common enough that it can be used in jewelry at a relatively low cost.
Garnet continues as a popular gemstone today. It serves as a birthstone for January and is a traditional gem given on a second anniversary. Most people will think of a red gemstone when they hear the name “garnet” because they are not aware that garnet occurs in a variety of colors. However, gem-quality garnets occur in every color – with red being the most common and blue garnets being especially rare.