Fiery Facts About January's Garnet

New year, new gemstone! Garnet, January’s stunning red birthstone, is popular for its eye catching color and amazing healing properties. While red garnet found in  Madagascar, Brazil, and Thailand is generally easy to find and loved by many, there is a more rare and especially unique type of garnet hidden within the Navajo Nation...Arizona Anthill Garnet! Read on to discover more about Arizona Anthill Garnet and other types of garnet that are especially rare. 

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This stone is so treasured not only due to its brilliant color and small size, but because it is remarkably mined by ants! Thousands of tiny creatures here in Arizona disperse deep within the grounds of the Navajo Nation and deliver the garnet stone to the surface, where the Navajo people collect the beautiful gem to sell. This amazing creature is called the southwestern harvester ant. Building their nests deep within the dirt, these insects have a very specific process of mining the garnet stone. These garnet gemstones take up large amounts of space for the ants to build their homes underground, so their goal is to create space for their nests when building by moving pebbles, stones, and small rocks to the surface of the ground they are working beneath. Arizona Anthill Garnet is most commonly found in the Four Corners region of Arizona. This area is exclusive to the Native American collectors including two small, hidden towns, Kayenta and Garnet Ridge, as this is on Navajo land and is where much of the Anthill Garnet can be found.

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If you ever get the chance to own one of Arizona’s “novelty” garnet gemstones, you can rest assured that you are supporting the Navajo Nation, as well as making an eco-friendly decision. Because anthill garnet is mined by these spectacular ants and collected by hand, there is absolutely no damage done to the environment and the entire process is completely safe and kind to mother nature! If you’re lucky enough to own a piece, wear it proudly! Anthill Garnet is exclusive to the Native American land and is also not commercially mined due to its rare amounts and unique location.

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The Anthill Garnet gemstone is extremely rare and usually never found in sizes larger than one carat. Although this was at first a disappointing discovery, it was truly a blessing in disguise. As Native Americans began to gain more knowledge of the gemstone and understand its properties and elements, they learned that if the gem were any larger, it would appear extremely dark in color, almost a deep black shade. This would inhibit the unique shade of red from being exposed, for if the stone was any larger it would not allow enough light to pass through.

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As Garnet is recognized as January’s gorgeous birthstone, many believe that wearing this stone is a great way to begin the New Year! Specifically, Arizona Anthill Garnet is said to bring good luck, as well as establish loving relationships and bring business success to anyone who wears it. Natives also claim that deep friendships are more easily made when the stone is in the presence of a group, making garnet a perfect gift for friends and loved ones. Anthill Garnet is also very durable, and likely to last a lifetime.

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While Anthill Garnet is simply spectacular, it is surprisingly not the only rare and unique form of garnet that has been discovered. Green garnet is considered to be very valuable and extremely rare. This gem can be found in places such as Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan, Antarctica, etc. and its minty green color is desirable among many. Another rare type of garnet is the spessartine garnet. Known for its fiery orange color and glow, this gem is treasured by many collectors and is often referred to as “Garnet of the Sun”. It is only found in specific locations such as Bulgaria, California, and the Rhodope Mountains, making it extremely rare and unique. We are excited to say that our American Gem Collection boasts a few pieces of rare Californian Spessartine Garnet!

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Garnet itself is a specially regarded gemstone with unique meaning and background. The color of the gem, be it bold red, fiery orange, or vibrant green, always stands out beautifully and every piece of jewelry that features a garnet is sure to catch eyes! Arizona Anthill Garnet continues to be one of the world’s treasured gems and is a lovely gift for both a friend or yourself. Overall, garnet is a beautiful treasure no matter its size, shape, and color. If you are lucky enough to own a rare garnet gemstone, it is guaranteed to bring you happiness, health, and beauty, for all your days! 

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Sami Fine Jewelry