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  • Red Garnet

    Finest Red GarnetIf you look at gemological information on garnet, you’ll see that there are six different members of the garnet group; pyrope, almandite, spessartite, grossularite, andradite and uvarovite. All of these have a similar crystal structure, but they vary slightly in their chemical composition.
    In the real world, natural garnets rarely match the specifications for these types exactly. In fact varietal names have been given to some garnets of intermediate composition. For example, the garnet with a composition halfway between spessartite and pyrope is known as malaia. Another example is rhodolite garnet, which has a chemical composition averaging a 2:1 mixture of pyrope to almandite.
    Rhodolite garnet is interesting not only for its chemical composition, but also for its unique color. It is a red garnet, but is very different from the familiar deep brownish-red of ordinary red garnet. Rhodolite’s name comes from the Greek rhodon meaning rose, and its color ranges from rose red to raspberry red, purple-red or purple-pink.

    4mm x 4mm Rhodolite Garnet 2.5ct Heart Facet in Raspberry Red


    One of the interesting facts about rhodolite garnet is that it was first discovered in the United States, in the state of North Carolina, around 1898. Even more interesting, it was discovered by mineralogist W.E. Hidden, who also discovered hiddenite, the green variety of spodumene that bears his name.
    North Carolina is no longer a significant source for rhodolite. Today the major commercial deposits are in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Kenya, Mozambique, Madagascar and India.
    Fine rhodolite from Mozambique and Tanzania has excellent color saturation and clarity. We’ve cut dozens of pieces around 10 carats and a few pieces over 30 carats, including one remarkable 96 carat gem.
    Since garnet has a hardness of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale and indistinct cleavage, it is a durable gemstone that is suitable for all kinds of jewelry. Rhodolite garnet has a high refractive index. In fact, the refractive index of rhodolite garnet is slightly higher than sapphire and ruby, so it has excellent brilliance. Rhodolite is one of the more expensive garnets, falling between common red garnet and spessartite in price. Additionally rhodolite, like other garnets, is always untreated. So given its stunning color and good gemological properties, rhodolite is a gemstone of superb value.

  • About Semi Precious Gemstones

    A Little About Semi Precious Gemstones
    Okay, rock hounds! For all of you beginners out there, we are going to talk a little bit today about the different types of semi precious gemstones. These gemstones are some of the most beautiful in the world, and any of them make for a great and exciting discovery for any rock hound!
    What exactly IS a semi precious gemstone? Well, the definition is really a broad one. The definition is actually more about what a semi precious gemstone is NOT. A semi precious gemstone is any of the world’s colored gemstones that are NOT diamond, ruby, sapphire, or emerald. Even though the entire world of gemstones is referred to as “semi-precious”, there are some extremely rare, extremely beautiful and extremely valuable gemstones just waiting to be found!
    Gemstones can be found in so very many colors, textures and styles. Some of them are used for birthstones, jewelry, home decor and more. Some of them even have folklore and legends surrounding them! Peridot for example, was used by the ancient Romans to cure depression, protect from evil, and provide restful sleep. Topaz has a mythical history of being able to make men more handsome (!), chase away sadness, and even turn a pot of boiling water cold! And, my personal favorite, turquoise, used to be used in the 13th century by horse riders. They believed that by wearing it, the horse and riders would be prevented from falling.
    Besides the more common gemstones that we all already know, there are some beautiful gemstones that are less common. Bloodstone, Fluorite, Howlite, and Jasper are some of these. While they are less commonly known than the other gemstones, some of them are the most beautiful you will ever see!
    Now that you know a little bit more about semi precious gemstones, get out there and start digging!

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    The first amateur geologists were prospectors looking for valuable minerals and gemstones for commercial purposes. Eventually, however, more and more people have been drawn to amateur geology for recreational purposes, mainly for the beauty that rocks and minerals provide.

    One reason for the rise in popularity of amateur geology is that a collection can begin by simply picking up a rock. There are also many clubs and groups that search for specimens and compare them in groups as a hobby. Information on where to find such groups can be found at libraries, bookstores, and “gem and mineral shows”. Tourist information centers and small-town chambers of commerce can also supply valuable local information. The Internet can also be a useful search tool as it can help find other amateur geologists.

    The amateur geologist’s principal piece of equipment is the geologist’s hammer. This is a small tool with a pick-like point on one end, and a flat hammer on the other. The hammer end is for breaking rocks, and the pick end is mainly used for prying and digging into crevices. The pick end of most rock hammers can dull quickly if struck onto bare rock. Rock collectors may also bring a sledgehammer to break hard rocks. Good places for a collector to look are quarries, road cuts, rocky hills and mountains, and streams.

    There are many different laws in place regarding the collection of rocks and minerals from public areas, so it is advisable to read up on local laws before prospecting. Rock and mineral collecting is prohibited in most if not all national parks in the United States.[1]