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The name garnet has been used since ancient times. It was derived from the Latin word granatium which means a pomegranate because small, red garnet crystals were thought to resemble pomegranate seeds. (fun factoid: The original name given this mineral group was granat. In time the “r” and “a” were transposed giving us garnet.)
A garnet tends to break into small pieces with sharp angular and uneven faces which is regarded as a characteristic feature of a good abrasive. Garnet, therefore, is valued as a natural abrasive.
There are 6 minerals which make up the garnet family: Grossularite, Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartite, Andradite, and Uvarovite.
After some researching, I have decided this garnet is Pyrope due to these characteristics which these stones match exactly:
COLOR: red to reddish purple and sometimes a deep enough red to appear black
TRANSPARENCY: crystals which are transparent to translucent
LOCALITIES: include Europe; Arizona and New Mexico, USA; South Africa and several Australian sites. (my grandparents found these in the mid-West)
WHEN YOU ORDER THE GARNET YOU WILL GET SEVERAL SMALL PIECES
ABOUT THIS GARNET:
It is some that my Grandfather polished. They began their life as rather rough round stones (like pocked berries).
He told me how hard the stone was and that these are so small because to polish out the pits in the stones, they get smaller and smaller.
They are translucent, but some are so deep dark red that they look almost black. I have some that got mixed in with a few very small apache tears, and they only way I can tell if they are garnet or obsidian is to hold them to the light. The obsidian is usually translucent enough to show some of the brownish/black through. Some of the garnet usually is too dark to even let the red show!
The garnet took months and months to tumble. You start with large grit and as you tumble them down, you take them out and reduce down to a finer and finer grit size until they are smooth and shiny like these.
The sound of the rock tumbler drove my Granny nuts. It was probably the garnet! I recall the few quiet days when the tumblers weren’t on. She would sit in her recliner rolling her eyes back under slowly closing lids in blissful ecstasy. She would lay back and breathe in the sweet sound of silence.