Last year, James Scheller from Garnetread reached out to me via Twitter. He had a really cool use for garnets and wanted to send me a sample to blog about. I planned to do this much sooner but life got in the way.
2020 has been hard on a lot of people and I’ve been pretty lucky. I actually had Covid-19, I think. I had two doctors tell me I had it but wasn’t sick enough for testing. I was the sickest I’d ever been since I almost died from the onset of asthma when I was 14.
So that’s pretty much what took me so long to get around to photographing and putting this post together. Better late than never!
Garnetread, which is trademarked, is a type of traction rubber for all vehicles and aircraft. The formula includes a special mineral, garnet, which is ground into tiny pieces of sand making up a powder. Blended with the rubber matrix fillings which includes recycled rubber, it creates a coating process for concrete, asphalt roads, and runways–and even steps.
Garnet makes up 10% per weight of contact tread of the tire. If the tread is 20 pounds, 2 pounds of garnet material is mixed with the rubber. One key feature of Garnetread’s infused tires is that it provides constant traction in all weather conditions over the life of the tire. This occurs as new pieces of garnet are continuously exposed–this is how they maintain traction and control.
I was sent two types of garnet samples. I took photos of both with my iPhone 7. I also took photos with a macro lens so you could see the detail of the garnet.
New York Garnet.
The New York Garnet was the finer, more sand-like specimen. I got plenty under my nails and my cat tried to play with them. Here are the photos, note that the second photo is the macro shot.
Star Idaho Garnet.
The second sample consisted of chunkier sand granules of garnet. You can learn more about Garnetread here.
Garnet Symbolism & History.
Garnet isn’t just the red mineral you see above–it comes in quite a few colors ranging from reds, oranges, and deep greens. The type of Garnet used in Garnetread is red garnet. Garnet has many uses besides jewelry and in tires. Although primarily used for gemstones, garnet has also been used in decorative objects for thousands of years. It’s one of the oldest known gems–even found in Ancient Egyptian tombs and with mummies.
Garnet gets its name from the Latin word for seed or grain, granatus which is probably a reference to the seeds of pomegranate fruit (yum). Some types of red garnet are known as carbuncles, which were said to glow with their own inner light.
In Jewish tradition, Noah brought a gem onto the ark as a light source which shone “more brilliant by night than by day” which helped Noah to figure out whether it was night or day. Some of these traditional accounts note that the gem was a carbuncle.
Garnet is also associated with love, blood, and heart, and creativity. Metaphysically, its a gem of protection, love, and grounding.