Dissolving Rock Around Garnet

Garnet crystals in rock.
Rock hounding a fun pastime. If you are lucky enough to find garnets, at sites such as Garnet Hill in Nevada, you will need to clean off the matrix around the stone. One highly recommended method is to use muriatic acid. Follow the precautions when using this product.


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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 221 Posts
June 12, 2020

I found some garnets at Garnet Hill near Ely, Nevada. We have been using vinegar, a wire brush, nail files, etc. trying to remove the rock around them so we can use them for jewelry.

Any ideas on how to dissolve the rock without damaging the garnet would be appreciated.


Silver Answer Medal for All Time! 425 Answers
June 13, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

Garnets from that area of Nevada are most likely in a matrix rock called Rhyolite. Rhyolite is the volcanic version of Granite. It is quite hard and not easily dissolved. You could try Muriatic acid, but USE EXTREME CAUTION handling it, and follow ALL precautions on the label.


It should be safe to use on Garnets and clean them quite well. Before attempting using muriatic acid, do some searching on the web, read the precautions you'll need to take, and see if it is really something you want to attempt.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
June 14, 20200 found this helpful
Best Answer

If you visit a lot of rock sites they tell you to clean the rock with muriatic acid. It is also recommended to check on the region that the granet was found because in some regions they have small veins in the rock that could damage the rocks. I also know that it is possible to clean up granet in a rock tumbler. Have you tried tumbling the rocks to get off the excess rocks around the granet?

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June 13, 20210 found this helpful

I have at least 50 lb rock full of garnet, but trying any method to get to the gem, seems impossible

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