Almandine is the most common of the Garnet group. It is also a popular gem and the most prized of the Garnet group because of its striking deep-red color. Most of this variety of Garnet is rough and opaque, yet can form perfectly symmetrical crystals in matrix pieces, making it very popular with collectors. Most of the material found today is neither gem quality nor collectible, but because of its hardness (7.5 – 8.5 on the Mohs hardness scale) it is used as an abrasive in sandblasting and on sandpaper. It often occurs in association with Quartz, Muscovite, Biotite, Schorl and Microcline to name a few.
The crystal system for Almandine is isometric, forming distinctive dodecahedral and trapezohedral crystals. Other forms include grainy and massive.
Almandine Garnet is found throughout the world. Notable locations include Australia, Austria, Italy, Czech Republic, China, Brazil and the USA (Alaska, Colorado).