[Tucson 2010] [Source] Red Garnet

Hello all, I’m heading to Tucson in a couple of weeks and my primary
goal for the trip is to source garnet for a line of gold and garnet
cloisonne work based on the recently discovered Staffordshire Hoard
( if you aren’t familiar with this find, check out
The Staffordshire Hoard | Flickr ).

I need to source red garnets as rough, or as polished slices 1.0mm -
1.5mm thick and at least 3mm x 3mm. I’m interested in material that
is a true red (see the photos linked above), as opposed to brown-red,
orange-red or purple-red. As yet I haven’t been able to set my eyes
on material that is the desired color, so I can’t speak intelligently
as to the variety I’m looking for. I’d appreciate any suggestions as
to where to look or who to talk with.

Tom Colson

As yet I haven't been able to set my eyes on material that is the
desired color, so I can't speak intelligently as to the variety I'm
looking for. 

I suspect that you are looking for Pyrope garnets. The best source is
used to be Czech Republic, so called Bohemian garnet. In USA, I would
say Arizona. There is a garnet, which locals call ant-hill garnets.
These are pyropes, so you may find what you looking for.

Leonid Surpin


If you want to do the "Saxon"garnet inlay you would want to hit the
import dealers at most any of the shows.

They sell small round and rectangle garnets that can be shaped to the
little step cuts you want. Since the cabs are fairly thin in height
or thickness they tend to have lighter and better color. It might be
hard to get a pure red, but if you go through the material you can
pick out the nicer colors. Also they are very inexpensive. Pure reds
like you see in the Sutton Hoo etc. have brightly polished and or
engraved cells, I believe, behind the cloisonnes which might make the
color a better red. The German cutter Hermann Lind in the GJX show
has finished goods in fine Ant Hill material which is a pure though
dark, red. He may sell rough. Tucson Electric Park has rough dealers
with garnet in facet grade. But the thin cabs I discussed above are
already polished and therefore a lot less labor. You grind the edges
to shape with a diamond saw blade, leaving the two polished surfaces.
Set with a water clear adhesive. Keep close tolerances or it will
look sloppy.

Good luck