Populations in both eastern and western cultures have been mining, trading, and carving garnets for millennia. Named for its likeness to the flesh and seeds of the pomegranate (Latin granatus), garnet is most commonly thought of as a red gemstone, but it actually occurs in all colors of the spectrum. In fact, garnet is a complex group of fifteen separate mineral species, which are sometimes hard to differentiate visually and more often than not occur together in the same specimen. Six of these species - almandine, andradite, grossular, pyrope, spessartine, and uvarovite - are regularly featured in mineral cabinets and jewelry.
Garnets are also valued for much more than their aesthetics: they are important rock-forming minerals enhancing our understanding of geologic events; they are commercially valuable as abrasives; they are part of an 'indicator' mineral suite used by geologists to locate diamond deposits; and they are great crystallographic examples with their textbook-perfect dodecahedral shapes. Yet even with this abundance, truly fine garnet specimens and large gemstones are surprisingly difficult to find.
Contributions by: Lothar Ackermann, Marco Amabili, Marc B. Auguste, Russell Behnke, Dudley Blauwet, Bill Dameron, James Eason, Thomas Fehr, H. Albert Gilg, Mickey Gunter, Jaroslav Hyrsl, John I. Koivula, Jiri Kourimsky, Gunther Neumeier, Bertold Ottens, Pete Modreski, Herwig Pelckmans, Paul Pohwat, Gilla Simon, Francesco Spertini, Gloria Staebler, Ingrid S. Weber, Joachim Zang, Gary Zito
Edited by: H. Albert Gilg, Daniel Kile, Suzanne Liebetrau, Pete Modreski, Gunther Neumeier, Gloria Staebler
Illustrations by: Roberto Appiani, Michael Bainbridge, Modris Baum, Dan Behnke, Dudley Blauwet, Joe Budd, Thomas Calligaro, Matteo Chinellato, Rick Cowley, H. Albert Gilg, Mickey Gunter, Manfred Henkel, Rupert Hochleitner, Richard Jackson, John I. Koivula, George F. Kunz, Arthur Lakes, John Lucking Hans Jorg Mullenmeister, Gunther Neumeier, Rui Nunes, Herb Obodda Eric Offerman, Berthold Ottens, Gerold Pascher, Herwig Pelckmans, Tony Peterson, Ed Raines, Jochen Schluter, Jeff Scovil, William 'Skip' Simmons, Gilla Simon, John Smolski, Walter Ungerank, John Veevaert, Andreas Weerth, Stefan Weiss, Stephan Wolfsried, Gary Zito