226. Hessonite

Hessonite or Cinnamon Stone is a variety of grossular, a calcium aluminum mineral of the garnet group.

The name is from the Greek word hēssōn meaning inferior, referring to its lower hardness and density than most other garnet species varieties.

It has a characteristic red color, inclining to orange, much like that of gem zircon. The difference is readily detected by their specific gravity. Hessonite has its specific gravity 3.64 to 3.69, whilst that of zircon is about 4.6.

Hessonite has a similar hardness to that of quartz, about 7 on the moh’s scale, whilst the hardness of most garnet species can reach 7.5.

Hessonite comes chiefly from Sri Lanka and India where it is found generally in placer deposits. It is also found in Brazil and California.

Hessonite is called Gomedhaka in Tamil and Sinhalese.

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