Can Garnet Go In Water? (ANSWERED)

When it comes to exposure to water, garnets can be damaged by water over a long period of time.

They should only be cleaned with soapy water and dried off quickly. Sitting too long can actually start problems.

In this article, you’ll learn more about garnet, and why it is that garnet shouldn’t be left in water.

Can Garnet Go In Water? (ANSWERED)

Hardness and Rating

Generally, all minerals, rocks and gems are classified on the Mohs scale for hardness.

When it comes to garnet, the reddish gem oftentimes scores 6.5 to as much as 7.5 on the scale.

There is variation depending on the size of the given stone, fractures, condition and similar.

Being part of the corundum gem family definitely puts the garnet up there in hardness, but it can’t be compared to a diamond on any practical level.

Overall, however, the stone is optimum for jewelry pieces and regular use, performing well under endurance as long as the piece is not thrown around and impacted unreasonably.

Any kind of hard impact or abrasive condition will cause scratching eventually, fractures or chipping.

Structurally, garnets do not waver in their chemistry with light and heat, and they hold up very well with many chemicals.

Hydroflouric acid, however, can be a serious problem for a garnet’s surface.

Ultrasonic cleaners generally don’t affect solid stones but fractured pieces and be vibrated to crack, so water cleaning is recommended instead.

See also: Can Garnet Scratch Glass?

Hardness vs Water Baths

While there are exceptions, in general, the harder a stone is, the more likely it can survive in water.

That being said, even the hardest stones can suffer in water.

Water baths are tough on any stone, as they encourage the expansion of microscopic fissures in the material.

Water can ruin the finish on a good looking, shiny stone.

Water can also impact the exterior color of the stone, so much that the outer edges have to be buffed or even cut off to return the stone to its previous glory.

Water baths can leave a pretty stone looking dull and lifeless.

When stones contain certain metals, water soaks can allow for the formation of rust, which causes yellowing that cannot be buffed out.

In general, even if a material can survive in water (like garnet), we don’t recommend that people soak their garnets in water for extended periods of time.


Garnet is generally found in most locations where there has been volcanic activity as well as sedimentary rock.

The stone is formed under pressure and generally occurs with aluminum deposits as well as with incredible pressure forces.

It can be commonly located in dried lava flows as well as magma chambers, being pushed up from underneath the earth by magma pressure release.

Most times, garnet in such situations is found after the rock the gem is embedded in ends up cracking, eroding and fragmenting apart, exposing the gem inside.


The most common public appearance of garnet tends to be via red stone variations.

However, garnet comes in other colors as well.

Further, it’s not just used for jewelry. Far smaller pieces find industrial usage in the form of sandblasting and media abrasion systems, water cutting tooling, filtration and similar.

Garnets will also be found with other similar minerals, which can make things a bit confusing if one is not dead-on observant to what is being examined.

That can include pyrope, spessartine, almandine, grossular and andradite as well as uvarorite.

Many are translucent in appearance and have crystal formations as well as show up in fractured and impacted pebbles of all sizes.

But they also show in sizable clusters and amounts too.

High Availability Locations

Garnets tend to be found most often in volcanic locations that are symptomatic geologically of converging plates impacting each other.

The intense geological pressure creates the ideal conditions for the creation of gems, garnets included.

Lots of other gem types are found in these locations as well due to the heat and earth movement forces involved. Smaller, microscopic versions form in schist and grow bigger over time as they coagulate matter to form larger and larger gems.

Garnet is also possible to find in larger deposit areas of granite.

As an igneous rock, granite tends to be a hard combination of all types of minerals.

No surprise, it also tends to be a typical home for garnets as well as other gems caught up in the formation of granite during their lava state before hardening.

Historical References

Garnets have a long history both in history, ancient recorded archives, art, and artifacts.

More than one cache has been found with garnet jewelry, rings and similar under a farm or two.

The Egyptians, for example, frequently buried their loved ones with garnets in their final jewelry regalia, and the stone had a significant fan club among the Romans as well.

The well-known durability of the garnet worked well in its favor when it came to lasting through time.

Modern Appeal

Garnets continue to be in high demand today, both for industrial purposes as well as for consumer jewelry needs.

The stone is ideal for those born in January as a birthstone as well as for a gemstone jewelry style that doesn’t command as much of the high prices as other stones, like diamonds, but still looks attractive, has a rarity, and remains in demand years after initial purchase.

Again, red stones are the most common, but garnets do come in other colors, with some of the less frequently appearing versions being unique and ideal for those who wants something different in a jewelry piece.

The red alamandine version is the most frequently placed stones in set pieces, taking up the lower part of the market price range.

Green demantoid, however, has gained in popularity and green tsavorite gives an emerald a good run for its money.

Due to rarity, both green versions tend to be priced higher than the standard red garnet styles.

Avoid Heavy Water Exposure, But Enjoy Alternative Gem Benefits

Again, for the question of whether garnet can get wet, it’s probably not a good idea to keep garnet stones in water for an extended period of time.

While it is a hard stone, fractured pieces suffer pretty quickly, especially if the water temperature changes rapidly.

However, for cleaning, soapy water is definitely recommended and fast drying as well.

Avoid sonic cleaners with less than solid stones.

Garnets definitely have a high demand, especially well-cut pieces, but they also have a lot of uses in industrial settings as well. 

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