Garnet – Spessartine

Scientific Name: Manganese aluminum silicate

Group: Silicates – nesosilicates

Chemical composition: Mn3Al2(SiO4)3

Colors: Yellow, orange, red.

Hardness: 7.5

Formation: Cubic crystals; Dodecahedral, trapezohedral form

Principal Sources: Spessart, Bavaria, Germany; Virginia, Montana, USA

Special Notes: The garnet group includes a group of minerals that have been used since the Bronze Age as gemstones and abrasives. The name “garnet” may come from either the Middle English word gernet meaning ‘dark red’, or the Latin granatus (“grain”), possibly a reference to the Punica granatum (“pomegranate”), a plant with red seeds similar in shape, size, and color to some garnet crystals. Garnet occurs in metamorphic and igneous rocks worldwide. The Spessartine name is a derivative of Spessart in Bavaria, Germany, the type locality of the mineral. It occurs most often in granite pegmatiteand allied rock types and in certain low grade metamorphic phyllites.