[Source] Hessonite garnets

Hello all

A customer has brought an earring to me having lost one of them and
asked me to make a similar pair. The trouble is I’m having difficulty
identifying the stone. She knows I won’t get an exact match so I am
to find another pair as similar as possible. The original stone is a
brownish red, I think quite good quality. It has quite a sparkle and
appears to be well cut. It is 6mm x 4mm and set in gold although
probably only English 9ct. I was thinking it may be hessonite garnet
(cinnamon stone) but these appear to be quite hard to find and are
rather pricy - probably more so than these earrings were worth. Can
anyone suggest what else the stone might be?

Can anyone in the UK advise me where I might find hessonite garnets
or an alternative?

Thank you

Can anyone suggest what else the stone might be? 

You sure it isn’t just common almandite? That most common of garnets
is often a brownish to orangy red…


Collette -

Tourmalines come in all sorts of colors, and that could be your
stone. When cut right, they have lots of sparkle, too. I don’t know
how easy/hard to find they are compared to garnet though.

best regards,
Kelley Dragon

Hessonite garnet… maybe. Have you considered it might be a zircon?

I am sure those with the appropriate credentials will offer some
assistance… but high RI and brownish red… sounds like zircon.

Hessonite is relatively rare… brown[ish] is a fairly normal color
or Zircons… hitting towards the red side is more unsual, but
Zircons do go that way.

Brown is really not something I would associate with hessonite…
orange like… not brown.

Then… I ain’t no expert here.

Hessonite garnet... maybe. Have you considered it might be a

Or… “maderia topaz”… nice deep red/brown/orangy. But…I think
that is a more recent heat treated stone (someone needs to help me
here). Well, most of the modern stuff called “Maderia” I think is
heat treated I think… Topaz does not have a outstanding
“sparkle” either.

I was assuming it was an “old” piece.

If you just want to reproduce the look… I think there are colored
CZs that might work.

I am babbling… lol.

Try Marcia Lanyon, who carries a huge stock of stones & beads. She
would probably know where to source such a stone if she hasn’t got it
in stock. Otherwise I hear Marcus McCallum has a wide stock.

Both based in London.


That was my first thought but aren’t they usually quite dark? This
stone is fairly pale and clear.

I don’t think it is tourmaline as was also suggested. It’s not a
tourmaline colour that I have ever come across and I’ve used
tourmaline quite alot in my own pieces.

I think I’ll just have to trawl around some gem suppliers in London
and see if I can find something similar. Thanks for your thoughts on
it anyway.

(in sunny Bognor Regis, south coast UK)

Hi there. if you will send me a photo of the gem I am sure there is
one here. I am not in the UK but i Maryland. I have a source but i
need to see what you have as you may need a pair as that will be much
easier than trying to match one to another. contact me at [gems4u at
rocketmail dot com]

Gregg Lyell

Very easy identification. Jusst remove the stone from the setting,
go to a gemologist or a person who has a refractometer and take a
refractive index That will tell you what type of stone you have and
also what type of garnet it is ( if a granet) based on the
refractive index or also tell you if you have glass or synethetic
genrally For certian gemstones of course more testing must be done to
distinguish butgenerally this is a good assured start.

Lee Horowitz, Gemologist
Peru Blue Opal Ltd

A really great color is a papadasha (spelling?) sapphire. It is a
burnt reddish gold that is hard to describe, and could just be the
one because it is fairly rare. a good place to look is

Ed Bristol is a really interesting guy, and plan on spending hours
reading his info on his site. But there you will find a picture of a

Thank you all for your advice and suggestions both on an off line.
Gregg - I have taken some photos and will send you them later. Lee -
I was hoping to avoid having to go to a jeweller to have it tested as
its not long since I prevailed upon my local retail jeweller to do
that for me with a ‘diamond’ that turned out to be a CZ.(I wasn’t
surprised but you need to know what you’re working with!) Shekina -
I’ve checked out the padparadsha sapphire and it certainly is close
to the colour I’m looking for but I’d be very surprised if that is
what we have because of the value.

So - next step: photos to Gregg

Then if I must: down to the friendly jeweller followed by visits to
Marcia Lanyon and Marcus McCallum.

I will find something that will suffice somewhere…

Thank you all