Monday, 5 June 2017

Hessonite Garnet

Hessonite is a gem quality variety of grossularite garnet, the calcium-aluminum silicate member of the garnet species. While most varieties of grossularite are green, hessonite is known for its characteristic honey-yellow to brown-red 'cinnamon' color. Its color is owed to traces of manganese. Hessonite often contains tiny honey-colored inclusions. These inclusions typically do not detract from the value of the stone.
The most desirable color is bright golden orange; lighter stones exhibit more brilliance. Hessonite can be easily distinguished from other garnet types by its distinctive color and the presence of manganese. Hessonite garnet also has a lower specific gravity compared to other garnet types. Hessonite garnet is typically faceted to enhance color. Oval and cushion shaped stones are most common.
Hessonite Garnet is 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale. Gem quality hessonite is transparent to translucent, but lower grade materials are opaque. Hessonite is typically heavily included.