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Author Topic: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets  (Read 2020 times)

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adovbs

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Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« on: February 15, 2015, 06:35:01 PM »

About three or four years ago we took a summer vacation trip to Northern and Western Idaho.   One of our camp sites was near Emerald Creek, where the famous Idaho Star Garnets can sometimes be found so we spent several hours one day panning the piles of sand that the forest service scoops up for rock hunters (you can't actually get into Emerald Creek anymore) and found a nice number of small to medium sized garnets.  We finally got around to finishing them in the rock tumbler this winter, and here are some of the best of the lot.  They are so dark they appear black, like obsidian, in most lights, but when back-lit you can definitely see the grape purple colors, as well as a variety of sizes and shapes of inclusion.  I'll probably wire wrap most of these with a cage type wrap and make a necklace and earrings.  The largest of the lot is just about the right size for a small pendant, about 7/8th of an inch long. 

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Gergis

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Re: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2015, 09:45:47 AM »

Woah! Those are really neat! Do you have any pics of the raw material before tumbling? On my list of things to hound when in idaho now ;-)
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adovbs

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Re: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2015, 10:19:57 AM »

Woah! Those are really neat! Do you have any pics of the raw material before tumbling? On my list of things to hound when in idaho now ;-)

Oh, gosh, somewhere?  I'll see if I can find them. 

If you do get to go rockhounding in Idaho, don't forget the Bruneau area and Spencer (precious opal)!
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MrsWTownsend

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Re: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2015, 11:05:20 AM »

Wow, those are WAY cool!  That color is awesome!!!  What a great story, my Mom lives in Idaho, maybe someday I will be able to get out and hound a little while up there.  :)  Thank you for sharing these, they are beautiful!
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adovbs

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Re: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2015, 06:14:02 PM »

Okay, I found some pics!  And, it was 2010, not 2011. 

The first picture is the sand pit area.  The forestry service dumps dump truck loads of garnet sand at a non-critical area, so people don't tramp all over the creek and damage the ecosystem.  I guess people were digging huge pits and leaving them before.   :dontknow:

The second picture is the area where you take your buckets of roughly sifted sand to filter and sift and wash further to release the garnets from it. 

Third picture is a part of our haul for the afternoon.  These are the largest ones from my share of the batch.  Kind of ugly buggers before being tumbled!  In the fourth picture, you can see the largest of this group, which whole and unpolished almost, but not quite, covered a quarter. 

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ScarlettOSara

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Re: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2015, 03:29:55 PM »

I used to find small garnets walking around the fields in North Georgia but nothing like these sweet things:)
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MrsWTownsend

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Re: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2015, 04:54:10 PM »

Second pic is like being in line at the all you can sift Grape Garnet buffet.   :LOLOL:
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adovbs

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Re: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2015, 11:36:07 AM »

We had a blast that day!  The two kids in the pic are my son and a family friend of ours.  They were real troopers, sifting and hauling their buckets around to the washing station just like the big folks.  That was just a great trip all around. 
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Bentiron

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Re: Grape Purple Idaho Almandine Garnets
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2015, 04:19:53 PM »

That's pretty cool :headbang: I wonder what one of those big ones would look like faceted?
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