The diverse garnets can be distinguished from other common rock-forming minerals rather easily since they do not physically resemble any of them. Most are translucent, although they may range from transparent to nearly opaque.Garnets lack specific gravities, which vary with composition, range from about 3.58 (pyrope) to 4.32 (almandine).
The smooth rock in the photo is Precambrian rhyolite, whereas the chunky rock layer above is Cambrian sedimentary rock.
A few well-studied garnets from metamorphic rocks have been shown to be chemically zoned with layers of differing compositions.
Most of the differences thus far described appear to reflect, for the most part, differences in occupants of the ). A few studies have led to the suggestion that these crystal habits can be correlated with chemical composition—i.e., that dodecahedrons are most likely to be grossular-rich; that trapezohedrons tend to be pyrope-, almandine-, or spessartine-rich; and that combinations are generally andradite-rich.
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The availability of garnets of several colours, along with properties that make them rather durable and relatively easily worked, is responsible for their widespread use as gemstones.metamorphic rocks.