SCIENTIFIC INFORMATION: Almandine Garnets are from a group of very
closely related aluminum silicates. The Chemistry for the Almandine
variety is Fe2/3+Al2Si3O12. These Garnets range in color from deep red
to brown and brownish black. The hardness ranges between 6-1/2 and
ENVIRONMENT: Almandine occurs in diorite of plutonic rocks, and with
andalusite, hornblende, and biotite in hornfels and schist of contact
and regional metamorphic rocks.
OCCURENCE: Well-formed crystals of Almandine have come from Wrangell, SE
Alaska; from Emerald Creek, Benewah Co., Idaho; and from Michigamme,
Michigan. Gemstone quality material is obtained in large quantities
from Sri Lanka and India, where it is also cut; other sources are Burma,
Brazil, Madagascar, Tanzania, and Australia.
GEMSTONE INFORMATION: Most red garnets come under the name Almandine,
even when their composition is midway between that of Pyrope and
Almandine and similar, in many cases, to that of Rhodolite. The reason
for this is the similarity in their color and absorption spectrum
characteristics. Almandine has a brilliant luster, but its transparency
is frequently marred, even in very clear stones, by excessive depth of
color. The cabochon cut is widely used, often being given a strongly
convex shape and sometimes a concave base, in an effort to lighten
the color by reducing the thickness. Rose cuts have also been used,
particularly in the past. Nowdays, when the material is quite transpare-
nt, faceted cuts are used as well, and sometimes square or rectangular
step cuts. Gems of several carats are not uncommon. Faceted or even
barely rounded pieces of Almandine, pierced as necklace beads, were very
common in the recent past, but are now considered old-fashioned.
NAME: The name Almandine comes from [carbunculus alabandicus,] after the
city of Alabanda in Asia Minor, where gems were traded at the time of
LEGEND and LORE: All red Garnet has long been associated with love,
passion, sensuality and sexuality. Garnet is considered a birthstone for
those born in January:
“By her in January born
No gem save Garnets should be worn;
They will ensure her constancy,
True friendship, and fidelity.”
MAGICAL PROPERTIES: The darker Garnets are associated with the Will and
the Source of Life Incarnate. This is who and what we are in this
lifetime. This stone is worn for protective purposes, and is thought to
drive off demons and phantoms.
HEALING: Almandine Garnets are used to heal skin conditions associated
with poor circulation. They improve vigor, strength and endurance.
1. Scientific, Environment, Occurence and Name are from (or paraphrased
from) “The Audubon Society field Guide to North American Rocks and
2. Other scientific information may be from “Simon & Schuester’s Guide
to Gems and Precious Stones”.
3. Precious and semi-precious gemstone information may come from
“Gemstones” by E. H. Rutland.
4. Other precious and semi-precious gemstone information may come from
“Gem Cutting”, sec. ed., by John Sinkankas.
5. Basic Legends, Lore and Magical Properties are from “Cunningham’s
Encyclopedia of Crystal, Gem & Metal Magic”, by Scott Cunningham.
6. Other Magical and Healing information may come from “ccrystal Wisdom,
Spiritual Properties of Crystals and Gemstones” by Dolfyn.
7. More legends and lore may come from “Stone Power” by Dorothee L.
8. Healing information is from “The Women’s Book of Healing”, by Diane
9. Additional healing information may be from “The Occult and Curative
Powers of Precious Stones” by William T. Fernie, M.D.