Hessonite is a beautiful cinnamon-orange gemstone and a cousin of garnet!
Does that mean that hessonite is the same as garnet? Yes and no.
Each garnet variety has its own mineral traits and history. So while all hessonites are garnets, not all garnets are hessonite.
What does hessonite symbolize? Hessonite has a mysterious past full of lore and legend. Different cultures associate the gem with unique meanings — some believe it’s protective, while others regard it as a source of spiritual healing.
In today’s guide, we’re exploring everything there is to uncover about hessonite — from its symbolism and history to its characteristics, prices, and more.
The word “hessonite” derives from the Greek word hesson, meaning “inferior,” alluding to the gem’s lower hardness and density than other garnets.
Other names for hessonite include:
What zodiac is hessonite stone associated with? It depends on who you ask!
In Indian and Vedic astrology, hessonite is a zodiac stone for the Aquarius sign. In Western astrology, however, hessonite supports the Gemini sign.
Since hessonite is a garnet, you can also gift this gem to your significant other in honor of a 2nd wedding anniversary.
Does it matter where you wear your gem, though? If so, which finger should I wear hessonite? In Vedic astrology, you typically wear hessonite on the middle finger of your right hand.
Can I wear hessonite on the left hand? Sure! Even though it’s traditionally worn on the right, you can wear your hessonite on either hand.
Can hessonite be worn in gold? Of course! Many people prefer their hessonite set in gold because the warmth of the metal complements the rich, orangey-brown hues of the semi-precious gemstone.
However, hessonite can also be set in other metals, like silver, platinum, and white gold. As for which metal is best for hessonite, it ultimately depends on your personal preference.
To distinguish hessonite from other gems, you’ll want to understand its mineral traits.
Hessonite is a crystal and golden orange variety of grossular garnet (calcium-aluminum species).
These stones often display a "whiskey in water" effect, resembling disturbed or roiling water within the gem. This is a helpful identifier for confirming hessonite’s identity.
How strong is hessonite? Hessonite is a relatively hard mineral, with a Mohs hardness of 7 to 7.5.
Think you found hessonite? Grab a magnet! Some varieties contain iron, meaning this type of hessonite is magnetic.
Here’s an overview of hessonite’s other mineral traits:
Chemical formula: Ca3Al2(SiO4)3
Composition: Aluminum - Calcium - Oxygen - Silicon
Color: Brownish, brownish-yellow, orange-red, brown, yellow
Crystal structure: Isometric (cubic)
Refractive index: 1.74 to 1.75
Density: 3.55 to 3.73
Fracture: Uneven, conchoidal
Streak: White; Pale yellow or light brown
Luminescence: Fluorescence (Yellow-orange)
Pleochroism: Weak to moderate (Yellowish-brown to orange-brown or reddish-brown)
Treatments: Heat; Irradiation
Now it’s time to peek into hessonite’s past.
Hessonite has been around for centuries, but its initial discovery is a mystery. However, many agree it was unearthed in ancient times in Sri Lanka, India, and other areas of Asia.
This stone has historical ties to Hindu culture. Known as gomedha, it’s believed to have formed from the fingernails of Vala. Vala was a powerful demon and notorious troublemaker in the deity universe.
Upon his capture, the gods split Vala’s body into pieces — each transforming into a precious gem. His fingernails turned into hessonite, scattering across the East lakes.
In Indian mythology, hessonite was a protective talisman against Rahu’s evil influences, a mythical snake believed to cause eclipses by swallowing the sun or moon.
Metaphysically, what is hessonite good for today?
Like many crystals, you can use hessonite as a healing stone to aid your physical, emotional, and spiritual wellness.
How do I activate hessonite’s healing abilities? You can harness hessonite’s supportive energy by:
Wearing hessonite on your skin in jewelry
Placing hessonite on the affected area
Meditating while holding hessonite
Ready to see how hessonite enhances your mind, body, and soul?
Hessonite is thought to boost your physical wellness in several ways.
This stone may help with blood circulation, digestion, skin health, and respiratory issues.
Many believe hessonite also positively affects your liver and kidneys and fights symptoms of allergies or infections.
Hessonite is a powerful stone for strengthening your sense of self. It may prompt self-respect and confidence while dismissing feelings of inferiority and unworthiness.
Like other orange gemstones, hessonite is linked to sexuality and vitality. This gem’s energy strips away inhibitions and shame, allowing you to truly embrace your sensuality.
Some gems work as chakra stones to activate and balance your chakral energy points.
What chakra is hessonite associated with? As a stone of self, hessonite works with the root chakra, your hub of security, safety, and sense of belonging.
This stone stabilizes you inside and out — so you feel grounded, sure, and balanced in your journey.
Cleansing and energizing your gems regularly will help keep their energy strong and effective.
How do you energize hessonite for metaphysical healing?
After cleansing your hessonite by smudging the gem with palo santo or sage, you can charge it under the sun or moon for several hours to enhance its spiritual energy.
Then set your intention for your hessonite by holding it and visualizing your desired outcome.
Shifting back to hessonite’s physical traits, what characteristics impact its value most?
All gems are graded to determine their rarity, quality, and worth.
Experts assess color, clarity, cut, and carat weight to establish its overall value. Hessonite is no exception.
Hessonite occurs in honey-orange to brownish-red due to iron and manganese within the stone.
Some rare hessonite has a greenish-yellow color. While hard to come by, it’s not the most valued color.
What is the best color of hessonite? Hessonite’s best and most valued hues are bright orange and cinnamon-like brownish-red.
Hessonite is faceted in various shapes and styles. However, it’s typically given mixed, oval, or round gemstone shapes.
Faceted hessonite exhibits strong brilliance and sparkle.
When cut cabochon-style, hessonite’s “heat wave” optical phenomena takes center stage.
You’ll also find hessonite in its rough (or uncut) form. While the more affordable choice, high-quality specimens can still garner high value.
Hessonite falls under the Type II colored gemstone clarity grade, meaning it’s moderately “eye-clean” with minimal inclusions.
These inclusions, usually diopside or apatite, tend to show in swirl-like patterns. This gives hessonite the honey-comb-like appearance or “heat wave” effect we spoke of earlier.
While beautiful and favored by some, hessonite with less visible inclusions generally has a higher value.
You’ll typically find clean gems in small to medium sizes, rarely exceeding 5 carats.
However, some localities have yielded hessonite exceeding several hundred carats.
Like most garnets, hessonite typically forms in metamorphic rocks, gem gravels, and sand.
While it forms from the same minerals, the presence of manganese sets hessonite apart from other garnets.
Geographically, where is hessonite found?
The most prolific sources of hessonites are Canada, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.
Other notable localities include:
Ready to shop? You might be wondering, “what is the price of hessonite?”
The cost of hessonite varies depending on factors like size, appearance, and quality, among others.
Here’s a brief breakdown of the average cost per carat for different types of hessonite:
Faceted: From around $10 per carat for smaller, lower-quality stones to over $100 per carat for larger, high-quality gems with vivid color and good clarity
Cabochons: A few dollars to over $50 per carat
Rough: A few dollars to a few hundred dollars, depending on size, clarity, and color
Jewelry: A few dollars for simple, mass-produced pieces to several thousand dollars for custom-made, higher-end pieces
Pro tip: Opt for jewelry with protective settings to secure your hessonite.
Learning to care for your gems will also help preserve your hessonite for years.
It’s best to clean your hessonite with soapy water and a soft-bristle brush or non-abrasive cloth. Gently pat your stone dry and store it in a soft jewelry pouch or box away from harder gems.
Since hessonite is heat-sensitive, avoid high temperatures and prolonged sun exposure.
Hessonite is non-toxic and safe to wear. However, you should remove your hessonite before any rigorous activity like working out or cleaning.
So who can wear hessonite? Anyone!
Hessonite can be a powerful ally in overcoming self-doubt and embracing your true self — empowering you to live the unapologetic life you’ve always dreamed of.
Not drawn to its spiritual vibes? Hessonite’s warm cinnamon hue and unique beauty make it a fiery addition to any jewelry or crystal collection.
Ready to see where hessonite takes you?
Buy hessonite gemstones today!
Was this article helpful?1 person found this article helpful