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Anthill Garnets

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

When I first began in the industry, I heard a term that sparked my curiosity. I wasn’t sure if the term actually meant what it said, or if there was some other meaning, but I was pleasantly surprised to find out that Anthill Garnet means exactly that!

image of loose anthill garnet stones next to a penny.

An anthill is a nest of tunnels and chambers dug with ant brute strength to protect and foster their young and the queen ant. The tunnel system can reach up to 6.5 feet! In certain parts of the world, ants will encounter small, red Garnet crystals which they bring up to the surface to throw out. Garnet crystals will accumulate at the base of the ant hill with the rain washing them clean. These Garnet crystals are typically less than 1.00ct in weight (any bigger and the ants just work around it) and are of the Pyrope species which is dark red to slightly brownish red in color. You can read about the different species or types of Garnets in my blog

The most well-known deposit of Anthill Garnets were found by Native Americans in the area we now call Arizona before the Spanish arrived. Today, they are not commercially mined, and only tribal collectors born in that area are allowed to collect them. Some of the Pyrope Garnets contain Chromium which produce a vivid red color. Besides Arizona, Pyrope Garnets are found in South Africa, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Myanmar, Scotland, Switzerland, and Tanzania.

Interestingly, the presence of Pyrope Garnets has helped lead to the discovery of diamonds in Namibia and Russia! When prospecting for diamonds, geologist will often look to the presence of indicator minerals. Indicator minerals are minerals, like Garnet and Olivine (Peridot), that come up from deep-source volcanic eruptions along with kimberlite, which is the host rock for diamonds. Indicator minerals have also helped Canadian geologist, Charles Fipke, discover diamonds in Canada in the early 1990’s. Prior to his discovery, Canada produced zero diamonds, and today, they produce 23 million carats of diamonds!

Anthill Garnets are cut and polished into small gemstones used in jewelry. What a wonder to wear a gemstone that has been mined by nature itself! As I keep saying, jewelry means something more than just a bauble.

I would love to help you with your special purchase or custom design! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 23 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Learn more about me and my process:


Book your FREE appointment with me today!

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