HESSONITE, the cinnamon-brown to orange variety of grossular garnet


  • VARIETY OF: Grossular garnet, Ca3 Al2 Si3 O12.
  • USES: Gemstone.
  • COLOR: various shades of brown and orange.
  • INDEX OF REFRACTION: 1.73 - 1.75
  • HARDNESS: 6.5 - 7
  • CLEAVAGE: none
  • CRYSTAL SYSTEM: isometric

Hessonite is one of the gem varieties of the garnet mineral, Grossular. The other gem variety of grossular is green and is called Tsavorite. Hessonite is usually cinnamon brown and has been called "cinnamon stone". Hessonite can also be orange; this color is becoming common on the gem markets. Gem quality hessonite is found in Sri Lanka, Brazil and California.
HESSONITE specimens:
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HESSONITE specimen hes-1
$ 60.00
Dims: 0.7 x 0.4 x 0.4" (1.8 x 1.0 x 0.9 cm)
Wt: 2 g
Benchette Mountain, near Bellecombe, Aosta Valley, Italy
This intriguing specimen consists of a few partly-intergrown Hessonite garnets that are intergrown near the termination of a vesuvianite crystal. The largest garnet measures 0.2" (5 mm) in diameter and like the others, is in good condition- the cluster shows light damage. They generally show a lightly warped dodecahedral form with secondary faces and have a deep, orange-brown coloration and vitreous luster. Even with their deep color, they are noticeably transparent under normal light and appear to be quite clear. The vesuvianite crystal to which they are attached measures 0.6" (1.5 cm) in length, is in good condition, and has reasonably good though warped tetragonal prismatic form. The piece is affixed inside a plastic thumbnail box with a removable putty.
no photo
hes-1 ($ 60.00)
Benchette Mountain, near Bellecombe, Aosta Valley, Italy
HESSONITE specimen hes-2
$ 30.00
Dims: 1.2 x 0.7 x 0.4" (3.1 x 1.9 x 1.1 cm)
Wt: 15 g w/ specimen box
Benchette Mountain, near Bellecomb, Aosta Valley, Italy
This thumbnail specimen consists of at least 20 Hessonite garnet crystals that rest on a crystalline diopside crust. These garnets do not exceed 0.1" (3 mm) in diameter and are generally in excellent condition. Their dodecahedral form is very good, though several are slightly warped due to intergrowth. All have the deep cinnamon-brown color and vitreous luster that are standard for their specie and are transparent and at least moderately clear. The diopside crust on which they rest contains scores of tiny, milky-white crystals that are in good condition and have good monoclinic form. The piece is firmly affixed inside a plastic specimen box.
no photo
hes-2 ($ 30.00)
Benchette Mountain, near Bellecomb, Aosta Valley, Italy
HESSONITE specimen hes-3
$ 150.00
Dims: 2.1 x 1.4 x 1.4" (5.3 x 3.6 x 3.6 cm)
Wt: 2.8 oz. (79 g)
Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada
A druse of intergrown Hessonite crystals coats part of the syenite base of this hand specimen. These crystals reach diameters of 0.5" (1.3 cm) and are in moderately good condition, as about half of them are damaged or broken. All have excellent dodecahedral form, with clean faces and well-defined edges which may show light hoppering. All have a pale cinnamon-brown coloration and the standard vitreous luster, and are transparent and very clear.
no photo
hes-3 ($150.00)
Jeffrey Mine, Asbestos, Quebec, Canada


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