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A golden brown to red color Gemstone composed of calcium aluminum silicate with a small portion of Iron. Hessonite resembles yellow Zircon in color and both were called hyacinth in ancient times because they were found in the same gem-bearing gravels of Ceylon. Hessonite is softer than Quartz and less brittle than zircon and hence, was used in ancient engraved gems (Ogden 1982).

Raman (RASMIN)


Raman (U of Parma)


Synonyms and Related Terms

grossularite; cinnamon stone; essonite; mormoriom; hessenite; esonita (Esp.); Hessonit (Deut.)

Physical and Chemical Properties

  • Cubic crystal system with dodecahedron and trapezohedron habits
  • Luster = greasy to vitreous
  • Fracture = conchoidal or uneven
  • Cleavage = indistinct
  • Streak = brown
  • Fluorescence = inert to weak orange
  • Pleochroism = none
  • Dispersion = 0.028
Mohs Hardness 6.5 - 7.0
Density 3.64-3.69 g/ml
Refractive Index 1.70
Birefringence none


Properties of Common Gemstones

Resources and Citations

  • Jack Odgen, Jewellery of the Ancient World, Rizzoli International Publications Inc., New York City, 1982
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998
  • Wikipedia: Hessonite (Accessed Sept. 7, 2005 and Dec 2022)

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