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Large Garnets from Northern Georgia, USA

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Back in the 90s, I had an opportunity to go with the Atlanta, Ga mineral club to a site near the GA, TN, NC border to hunt for garnets. These two specimens are what I turned up. The first photo just shows the minerals by themselves, the second has my hand for scale. These are not gem quality pieces and are the same color all the way through. They are the almandine variety. These are some of the best shaped, nearly perfect dodecahedron, large, garnets I have come across.

The garnets are weathering out of retrograde mica schist, of Precambrian/lower Paleozoic age. You also find Staurolite crosses that have undergone retrograded metamorphism into a mica.

To recover these garnets, one has to dig down along the side of a stream that is dry most of the year. The garnets weathered out of the surrounding rock and roll downhill into & along the stream bed, where they were covered up by soil till someone uncoveres them by digging or plowing. I think it was by plowing the field, by the farms owner, that the first of these garnets were found.

I thought you all would enjoy seeing them. :)



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  • 2 weeks later...

Is that a single garnet or a rock with many smaller garnets in it? Was this cut on a saw or formed sq. by nature? Can gem stones be cut out of that? Looks cool.

Hi Toby, Yes, these are single crystals, not a rock with a garnet contained within. No saw was used to generate the shape; this is how they came out of the ground/rock matrix. The garnets are not gem quality. Some less than perfect samples were sawed open and they are the same color inside as they are on the outside. One of the club members tried polishing one, which did not work out. Yep, they really look cool in my display cabinet, next to the large quartz point from Hot Springs, Arkansas.

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