saf-ahyuh r
January Birthstone

Nicknamed the "cinnamon stone", hessonite is a variety of grossular garnet and the color ranges from golden yellow to brownish orange or brownish red, as well as reddish orange to red. A perfectly colored hessonite is a bright golden orange that resembles a combination of honey and orange with an internal fire. Some hessonites have tints of brownish red that resembles the color of cinnamon. Hessonite can be found in the gem gravels of Sri Lanka, but it is also found in Brazil, Canada, Italy, Myanmar, Russia, and the United States. While the clearest gems are the most prized, inclusions in hessonite are common, and often give stones an oily or roiled appearance.

Hessonite Polished
Hessonite Classification
Common Name Hessonite
Species Garnet
Hessonite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent - Semitransparent
Dispersion Value: 0.028
Refractive Index 1.730-1.758 Tolerance: (+0.020/-0.010)
Optic Character NA
Optic Sign NA
Polariscope Reaction Singly Refractive (SR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert
LWUV: Yellow Stones: Weak Salmon pink, orange Red or violet red
Pleochroism None
Hessonite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 6.5-7.5
Streak White or none
Specific Gravity 3.570-3.730 Range:0.12/-0.04 Typical:3.610
Toughness Good
Inclusions Stubby, rounded included crystals. Shows oily, "heat wave" or "scotch in water" effect.
Luster Vitreous, Greasy
Stability Good
Fracture Conchoidal, uneven, irregular
Cleavage None
Hessonite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name Calcium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula Ca3Al2(SiO4)3
Crystal System Cubic
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Hessonite Colors

  • Yellow Hessonite Yellow
  • Red Hessonite Red
  • Orange Hessonite Orange
  • Brown Hessonite Brown

Alternate Names

Essonite, Cinnamon Stone, Hyacinth Or Jacinth

Countries of Origin

Tanzania, United Republic Of; Myanmar; Afghanistan; Czechia; Madagascar; Portugal; Greece; Austria; Mozambique; Pakistan; Unknown; China; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Poland; Slovakia; Nigeria; United States of America (the); Sri Lanka; Kenya; Switzerland; Taiwan (Province of China); India; Spain; New Zealand; Canada; Norway; Italy; Australia; Peru; Germany


Normal Care

More About Hessonite

In Sri Lanka, the most prolific hessonite source, cinnamon oil is a popular product. It was the first miners who came across hessonite garnet who gave it the name of ‘cinnamon stone’ believing that it closely resembled the color of cinnamon oil. Hessonite garnet is deeply rooted in Indian mythology. It was believed to counter the evil influences of Rahu, the legendary immortal head of a snake that swallows the sun or the moon causing eclipses.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.