An important rock-forming mineral group, with the general formula X3Y2Si3O12, where X may be Ca, Mg, Fe2+, or Mn and Y may be Al, Fe3+, or Cr3+; the main minerals are grossular (X = Mg, Y = Al), pyrope (X = Mg, Y = Al), almandine (X = Fe2+, Y = Al), spessartine (X = Mn, Y = Al), andradite (X = Ca, Y = Fe3+), and uvarovite (X = Ca, Y = Cr3+), and there is continuous chemical variation in the group; an unusual variety called hydrogrossular Ca3Al2[SiO4]2[SiO4]1–m(OH)4m has hydroxyl ions in the structure and is found in the rare rock type rodingite; sp. gr. 3.6–4.3; hardness 7.0–7.5; colour very variable depending on its chemical composition, and can vary from shades of deep red-brown to almost black, green, white, yellow, and brown; usually vitreous lustre; crystals cubic, with the most common form being dodecahedra; no cleavage; found in high-grade metamorphic and igneous rocks, in beach sands, and alluvial placers. Transparent pyrope crystals may be used as gemstones, but garnet is more generally used as an abrasive.
Subjects: Earth Sciences and Geography.