Uses: Almandine is industrially important for use as Garnet paper, an important abrasive. Almost all Garnet paper is made from Almandine; only a small amount is made from Pyrope. When transparent and colored nicely, Almandine Garnet makes a fine gemstone. Well formed Almandine crystals are very popular among mineral collectors.
About: Almandine, also known incorrectly as almandite, is a species of mineral belonging to the garnet Group.The Garnet group is a small group of closely related minerals. The members of the Garnet group are isomorphous, and some of them freely intermingle. They vary only slightly in physical properties, and some of them may be so similar that they are indistinguishable from one another without x-ray analysis. The most common members are: Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartine, Grossular, Andradite, and Uvarovite.
|| Chemical Formula: Fe3Al2Si3O12
Variable Formula: (Fe,Mg,Mn)3Al2Si3O12
Color: Deep red to reddish-brown, sometimes with a violet or brown hue
Hardness: 6½ - 8½
Common Garnet refers to brownish-red, opaque Almandine
Precious Garnet refers to a deep red, transparent Almandine.
The minerals in the Garnet group are called "Garnets". All Garnets are hard and many are fit for gem use. Unless articulate, most mineral and gem dealers don't refer to garnets by their true name (i.e. Almandine), but by the name "Garnet". The garnets as a group occur in all colors (except for blue). For more information about garnets, see the Garnet group.
Almandine is the most common Garnet. Although only a small amount of this mineral is fit for gem use, it is nevertheless a popular gem. It is the most widely used Garnet in the gem trade. More gems are faceted from Almandine than any other type of Garnet. Some Almandine garnets display asterism when polished as cabochons. Such specimens are known as "Star Garnets". Almandine most commonly occurs embedded in Mica schists. It also occurs in large, single crystals, which are caused from the breakup of the Mica schist due to weathering.