Garnet mining in New York State dates back to the late 19th century when the Barton Mine first opened in 1879. Henry Barton experimented with garnet as a harder and more durable abrasive than simple sand and after a fisherman friend told him about the prolific garnets in the Adirondacks he staked his claims and went into production (Kelsey, 2015).
Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club has decided to make 2016 the year of the Birthstone. And isn’t garnet a great way to get started!
Garnets are hard (Moh’s hardness of 6.5-7.5), or as hard or harder than quartz. As members of the isometric crystal system garnets are symmetric with three equal and perpendicular axes. Garnets are colorful: red, yellow, green and many shades of each. And garnet is the birthstone for all born in January.