The Many Facets of  Garnets

I have always loved garnets. Once thought “if I can’t have a ruby I’ll have a garnet.” At that time I did not know the different qualities and varieties of gemstones. Now I find I can have both. There are many price brackets in all the gems. In other words something for everyone. Also some garnets are just as expensive as the beautiful ruby.

The other thing I did not know was how many colors of garnets there are. Most of us think of the garnet as dark red or purple, but there are green, orange, red, purple, even black. It was once thought there was no blue garnets until someone found color changing garnets from Madagasgar. They change from grey blue to cornflower blue depending on the light and where they are found.. All are beautiful. Each color has a slightly different chemical makeup and are classed as species.

many colors of garnets

many colors of garnets

Garnets have more species than any other gemstone,The six main ones are:


All six have varying color ranges from light rose red to black. The andraite being the rarest with colors ranging from a lustrous rose to the very rare black malanite.
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It is also one of the very few gemstones hardly ever enhanced so you are getting natural purity.

The garnet is very important to geologists due to it’s chemical and magnetic properties. With each garnet they are able to tell the age of the surrounding rocks where the stone was found. This helps to determine how the earth was and is forming under our feet. We tend to forget rocks are living things made up of minerals and various earth elements made from atoms just like we are. They just take many centuries to grow. (There are many arguments about the life of rocks on the internet. I think if they grow, they must be alive.)
An observation from
Rocks don’t eat, drink, or take their vitamins, but they do grow.

Observing the process, though, is less interesting than watching paint dry. Rocks called iron-manganese crusts grow on mountains under the sea. The crusts precipitate material slowly from seawater, growing about 1 millimeter every million years.

Your fingernails grow about the same amount every two weeks.

Our world is such a fascinating place, the older I get the more fascinating it becomes. Maybe because I do not have the restrictions of younger adults, with jobs and families still growing, I am able to open my mind to God’s miracle planet, Earth.

Garnet is the official birthstone for January. It is a stone of protection, of energy, of manifestation and of business. Different colors speak to each of these areas. It is also the stone of Aquarius.

Dark, rich red is the most common garnet. It is the stone of the heart.

Deep Red Garnet

Deep Red Garnet

Offering physical, emotional and spiritual support. It eases sadn or guilt   memories and keeps you in touch with your softer side. The red garnet is a path to spirit guides and guardian angels. The lighter red garnet is a perfect gift for returning soldiers who are having a hard time living with the horrors of war. It offers peace for the soul.

A few more  interesting facts about the healing uses of garnets.

It physically heats cold fingers and toes!  It melts frozen feelings and fears! It can ease the acute pain of gall stones! Use it to strengthen your imune system against a host of infections, especially winter illnesses.  One more thing, I find this amazing,  use it to help a pet who is unhappy when its owners go to work. (  I am going to thread some tiny garnet stones into my paranoid wee dog’s collar, since she hates being left alone.  Will let you all know the outcome.)  Reference for this last bit came from a beautiful book called ” the illustrated directory of Healing Crystals”  by Cassandra Eason.

Garnets are found all over the world. One of the world’s largest garnet deposits is in New York State. Apparently the garnet is “The Gem Of The Adirondacks” The Historic Barton Mines opened in 1878 and are still working today. Gore Mountain garnet deposit is recognized as a world famous geology site. Read about it here

Barton mines concentrates on industrial garnets. For gemstone quality mining we go to the “Gem State” Idaho. Here is the stone of the heart from Crystal Creek, Idaho, where,thanks to the National Parks service you can go “rock hounding” and collect your own garnets! What a neat way to spend a family day, you never know you might just find a rare one.

Handful of Raw Garnets

Handful of Raw Garnets


(For the moment, I find my gems at “Fire Moutain Gems” a family company that is changing the world ” one bead at a time” It is the go to place for pros and hobbyists as well.  ***See my blog about this family business.

I am in love with this garnet pendant, found in their catologue.  To find it on their site just type in garnet pendant in the search  bar for finished jewelry.  And yes,  I am an affiliate as well as a customer.

garnet pendant from Fire Mountain Gems

garnet pendant from Fire Mountain Gems

Go Here to access their site and order your free catologue or just to shop.











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This is a repost from  2013,  updating for new readers.


I have been looking for a company that sells all the gemstones in bead form as well as in a variety of finished jewelry. One that I would be proud to represent on this blog. Fire Mountain Gems is that.

Their motto “”Uniting the world, one bead at a time” is something they are proud to put into action. They have been in business over forty years, starting in their home in the seventies in California,they sold jewelry making supplies and a little handbook on how to bead. After 13 years in business they moved to Oregon in 1986, where they started a mail order jewelry supply and have kept growing ever since. The handful of employees that started at Fire Mountain Gems and Beads in Cave Junction, Oregon, quickly turned into hundreds of employees and continues to grow still!

Click on the link below for their free catalog and more. Be sure to  read the interesting history of this family business  on their about us page.  A true American dream company.

FREE Best Sellers Catalog – 448 Pages of the Best-Selling Jewelry-Making Supplies.


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