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Nicknamed the "cinnamon stone", hessonite is a variety of grossular garnet and comes in two colors, golden and cinnamon. 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 red and brown with cinnamon appearance. Hessonite is common in the gem gravels of Sri Lanka and practically all hessonite is obtained from this locality, although it is also found in Africa. While the clearest gems are most prized, inclusions in hessonite are common, with unique toffee-like streaks giving hessonite an oily or even glass-like appearance.

Hessonite Polished
Hessonite Classification
Common Name Hessonite
Species Garnet
Hessonite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent - Semitransparent
Dispersion Value: 0.028
Refractive Index 1.740-1.740
Optic Character NA
Optic Sign NA
Polariscope Reaction Singly Refractive (SR)
Fluorescence SWUV: Inert to weak orange
LWUV: Inert to weak orange, pink or red
Pleochroism None
Hessonite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 7-7.5
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
Stability Good
Fracture Conchoidal, Uneven
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; Afghanistan; Mozambique; Unknown; Sri Lanka; China; Brazil; Madagascar; Nigeria; India

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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.