Almandine is a neosilicate mineral belonging to the garnet group. It is found in garnet schists which is basically a type of a metamorphic rock. Almandine forms rounded crystals with 12 rhombic or 24 trapezoidal faces which is a unique peculiarity of the garnet minerals. It is available in colors such as red, brown, purple or deep red. It has vitreous luster and is transparent in nature. Almandine is found mixed with pyrope and spessartine. In addition, it occurs in granites and tonalities. It is frequently cut with a convex face cabochon. When viewed through a spectroscope it shows three characteristic absorption bands. The coarsed varieties of almandine are used as abrasive agents for various applications.
The deposits of aldmandine are widely distributed geographically. It occurs in regions such as Alaska, Germany, Norway and India among others. In addition, almandine occurs abundantly in the gem gravels of Sri Lanka and Northern Territory of Australia. Moreover, almandine in which ferrous oxide is replaced partly by magnesia is found at Luisenfeld in German East Africa. It also extensively found in the U.S..
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Transparent almandine garnet is a very popular gemstone which is used in making jewellery. It is especially inlaid in gold cells in the cloisonné technique. Almandine garnets are available in a variety of shades which are used for making jewellery items. Additionally, coarsed varieties of almandine are used for industrial applications. Growing demand for abrasives in various industrial applications and increasing use of almandine in the jewellery industry are the parameters that are expected to drive the global almandine market within the forecast period. It is a good abrasive and a good option for silica sand and sand blasting. Mixed with high pressure water, it is used to cut steel and other materials in water jets. Almandine garnet extracted from hard rock is ideal for water jetting as it is more efficient for cutting applications. Aldamine is a highly capital intensive industry as the costs involved in mining and processing technology are high. Thus, the entry barriers for newcomers are high. Additionally, rising demand for development of innovative designs in garnet are likely to open the doors for new entrants.
Asia Pacific is expected to exhibit the fastest growth in the aldamine market followed by the Middle East and North America. Many new capacities are expected to open in Asia Pacific and the Middle East for the mining and cutting of aldamine. Asia Pacific accounted for the highest demand in 2012, owing to the presence of a large number of industries in this region. This trend is expected to continue over the forecast period on account of rapid economic development in this region. Regions present in rest of the world and countries such as India and China are expected to witness a significant increase in consumption of almandine due to economic development and high disposable income of consumers in these countries. Increasing demand for jewellery is expected to boost the almandine market over the next few years. Europe is expected to exhibit a steady growth on account of the huge demand for gemstone in the United Kingdom.
Key players in the aldamine market are R.G Gems and VV Mineral Manufacturers among others.
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