HASSONITE

Hessonite belongs to the grossularite garnet group, which also includes the rare tsavorite garnet. While most grossularite garnet is green, hessonite typically has a orange-brown color which has earned it the nickname cinnamon stone. The grossularite garnets are calcium aluminum silicates, with a density of 3.57-3.73 and a refractive index of 1.734-1.759. In addition to hessonite and tsavorite, the group includes the colorless leuco garnet and the dense opaque green hydrogrossular garnet. Hessonite garnet ranges in color from honey-yellow to orange-brown to brown-red. One of the distinguishing characteristics of hessonite is a "treacly" quality -- when viewed under magnification one can see undulating, contorted areas of lesser transparency. These subtle inclusions are a useful key in distinguishing hessonite from other gemstones of similar colors, such as citrine, topaz and orange zircon.

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