January’s Birthstone: Garnet

Garnet Mining in Arizona - The “Ant Hill Garnet”Rough garnet mining in AZ

While garnets can be found in all shapes and sizes, Arizona is one of the few locations that is home to “ant hill garnets”. This type of garnet stems from the unique way that these garnets are mined, by ants! While ants are constructing the underground passageways of their habitat they encounter these stones and remove them from their paths by discarding them on the surface. They are then washed clean by the rain and can accumulate in large quantities for people to collect and use1.

Brief Garnet Background

The garnet has long been a popular stone in ancient cultures. From the Egyptian pharaohs to ancient rome and well into the Middle Ages garnets were widely prized and used in trade. “in ancient Rome, signet rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax that secured important documents2. This widely popular gemstone is even the state mineral of Connecticut, New York’s gemstone and the star garnet is the state gemstone of Idaho.

Garnet ring in Gilbert, AZ.The Many Colors of Garnets

Although garnets are most commonly know to be shades or reds, there actually is a wide range of colors to choose from when shopping for a garnet. From greens, oranges and pinkish oranges to purplish reds and even blues, there is great range to choose from. The most rare of these colors in considered to be the green garnet or “tsavorite”3.

Color of a Garnet: Most commonly red
Variations on Color: green, orange, pinkish orange, purplish red and blue
Birthstone Month: January
Wedding Anniversary Year: 2

Whether you long for the deep purplish red of the most well known garnet or a more unique find of the tsavorite garnet Forever Diamonds is the perfect place to start your search and get your questions answered. Stop by our Gilbert showroom and see what garnet jewelry we may have in stock for you.

1. “Ant Hill Garnet” Geology.com, 2005-2014. Web. Retrieved December 23, 2014. <http://geology.com/stories/13/anthill-garnet/>

2. “Garnet History and Lore” GIA, 2014. Web. Retrieved December 23rd, 2014. <http://www.gia.edu/garnet-history-lore>

3. “Garnet” GIA, 2014. Web. Retrieved December 23, 2014.<http://www.gia.edu/garnet>