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Hessonite stone

HESSONITE STONE CHARACTERISTICS

  • Origin of the name: Derived from the Latin term “Granatus” meaning “grain”.
  • Group: Garnet
  • Chemical composition: Calcium aluminium silicate.
  • Hardness: Between 6.5 and 7.5.
  • Crystal System: Cubic
  • Deposits: Austria, Afghanistan, Brazil, India, Sri Lanka, Czechoslovakia.
  • Colours: Orange brown, dark orange.

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HESSONITE STONE: ITS HISTORY, ORIGIN AND COMPOSITION, AND ITS LITHOTHERAPEUTIC PROPERTIES AND VIRTUES

HISTORY OF HESSONITE STONE

Hessonite stone is part of the garnet family. It is a silicate belonging to a family of crystalline minerals that come in a wide range of colours. The best known colour of this family is red. The name of this rock comes from the Latin “Granatus”, a word meaning “grains”. The origin of this name would go back to around 1270. It is not impossible that this name refers to the pomegranate, a fruit whose seeds almost identically represent the shape, size and colour of this rock. The Granatus family is available in almost every colour. Only the colour blue is not represented. But brown, red, green, yellow, black and colourless gems are very common.
Hessonite takes different names according to its colour :

  • Pyrope: fire red slightly declining to brown
  • Rhodolite: pinkish red tending towards purple
  • Almandine: brick-red to purple
  • Spessartine: orange to red brown
  • Hessonite: dark orange
  • Tsavorite: intense green
  • Demantoid: meadow-Green to emerald

Hessonite is a fine stone of great importance to history. It is, indeed, more common than ruby or sapphire. Moreover, its use is not only ornamental. Thanks to its hardness, this gem was once used to engrave other gems such as agates or jaspers. It was also used to make an abrasive powder which was then used to polish and roughen these gems. Even today, it is still used in precision water jet cutting or for gluing on sandpaper.

The first evidence of its use dates back to the Bronze Age, particularly in Czechoslovakia, the main source of extraction of Pyrope. Traces of its use can then be found in the early ages of Ancient Egypt. It is a rock that was frequently used for the pageantry of the pharaohs, true sacred treasures that they took to their tombs. At that time in history, the rock was dedicated to Sekhmet, the goddess of war, a woman with a lion’s head and a sun disk. The occurrences in the course of history are very numerous. The rock was used by the Sumerians around 2100 B.C. They used it in particular to chisel rocks. Other traces of the rock were discovered in Sweden between 2000 and 1000 BC. The Greek Theophase (-372, -287) mentions it under the name of anthrax or “coal”. In Ancient Greece, it was thought to render nyctalope, i.e. it allowed people to see at night. The ancient Roman Pliny the Elder also described it. He named the rock “almandine carbunculus” or burning coal because of its colour. The Celts commonly used it in their weapons and jewellery to give themselves protection and courage. The Hebrew’s Talmud tells that the rock was used to light Noah’s Ark. They called it Bareketh which means “flashing rock” or Barak, “lightning”. In the Bible, Hessonite stone was enthroned on Aaron’s armour.

During the Middle Ages, people thought that this rock increased constancy and faith, and kept melancholy away. The Crusaders wore it to give them strength to fight and faith in their mission. It was also used as a remedy against plague and inflammation. Arab leaders always wore it. For them, it symbolized sincerity. The rock is also considered sacred by many Amerindian tribes. It is also very present in the history of the Maya and the Aztecs. Northern Amerindians tribes often used this rock to decorate shields, to make jewellery, but also to decorate dream catchers. The Amerindians considered that it allowed them to show what was invisible. In many traditions, rock is associated with blood, mainly because of its colour. This was particularly the case in some Asian tribes where it was considered that it could not only protect from injury but could also cause significant damage if used as a projectile. The rock was therefore frequently used as bullets or arrowheads. The Hanzas used it as a weapon when they were confronted by British troops during the 1892 Rebellion in the Kashmir border region. In India and more widely in the Far East, it was used as an amulet to protect against plague and poison and to attract health and happiness. According to popular belief, this rock would protect from poison and wounds, stop bleeding, bring prosperity and symbolize fidelity and truth. In any case, this is the semi-precious rock that is traditionally associated with January birth month by jewellers.

ORIGIN AND COMPOSITION OF HESSONITE STONE

It is a beige, brown or orange-coloured issued from Grossular, an aluminous calcium mineral belonging to the Ugrandite family, itself attached to the large family of Garnets. The Ugrandite series also includes the Uvarovite of the chromiferous pole and the Andradite of the iron grade. The series also includes intermediate varieties and/or varieties of different colours such as Tsavorite, Rosolite, Leucogrenat or Hydrogrossular. The name Hessonite comes from the Greek “hesson” meaning “less” or “inferior”, in reference to its lower hardness and density compared to most other members of its family. It has sometimes been called Cinnamon Stone because of its colour, which is the result of the presence of iron impurities. The more ferrous iron is present, the darker the colour will tend to be. On the other hand, a predominance of ferric iron touches will give a lighter and therefore brighter shade. The most beautiful specimens are found in Asbestos in Canada, Kataragama and Okkampitiya in Sri Lanka, Jharkhand in India, Maevatanana in Madagascar, Lelatema in Tanzania and Balistan in Pakistan. Some interesting deposits can also be found in Brazil, Italy and Vermont in the United States.

The most common rock is known for its so-called syrupy appearance as it contains numerous micro-inclusions that are spread evenly. These will make it appear cloudy or translucent. There are, however, elements that are perfectly transparent, without any inclusions and whose colour is clear or orange. These are higher grade rocks. These come mainly from Sri Lanka and are the most expensive and most sought-after products by collectors as well as by jewellers-creators. It can be imitated by other rocks of lesser value such as some Smoked Quartz or Smoked Citrines but also and above all by artificial or synthetic rocks such as glass, YAG, GGG or cubic zirconium oxide. In order to avoid any disappointment, it is better to buy your product from a jeweller or a reputable gemmologist dealer.

LITHOTHERAPEUTIC VIRTUES AND PROPERTIES OF HESSONITE STONE

HESSONITE STONE’S PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

Visually radiant and energetically reassuring, Hessonite stone is an anchor rock. This means that it is mainly intended for people who feel the need to reconnect with their physical body, but also with all the qualities that a harmonious sacred chakra allows to develop such as creativity, pleasure, joy of life, etc. Hessonite facilitates the balance of the second chakra by encouraging letting go. Mental control becomes more discreet, promoting spontaneity and creativity.

In particular, it promotes the supply of energy and vitality. In the end, it allows you to undertake projects with courage and see them through. This rock develops the survival instinct, but will also be beneficial against nervousness. However, it is not suitable for nervous and angry people as it could accentuate this trait. In addition to reducing the taboos and inhibitions of its wearer, this rock could be used to improve experiences such as hypnotic regression. Hessonite also has a reputation for attracting money, wealth, success, happiness and prosperity. It is a stone of protection which makes it possible to face conflict and enemies thanks to the mental peace that it brings to its carrier. In fact, negative energies are routed thanks to it.

HESSONITE STONE’S PHYSICAL BENEFITS

Physically, the body resumes its place and unfolds. The wearer will now feel free from old emotional and/or physical wounds. In lithotherapy, it will tend to regulate blood pressure and promote a good blood circulation throughout the body. It is also a sexual stimulant, especially for men. Hessonite stone also applies to the sacred chakra which will facilitate the fight against insomnia but also against allergies.

HESSONITE STONE SYMBOLISM

  • Gigantism
  • Excess
  • The forces of the Earth
  • Heroism

HESSONITE STONE TRADITIONS

  • Middle Ages in Europe: Hessonite garnet stone represents all the difficulties in the struggle against one’s own forces of regression in a desire for spiritual elevation and one’s own primary instincts.