The yellow-brown variety of grossular is called hessonite (or essonite). Its name comes from the Greek ésson,meaning "inferior," gems of this color being regarded as the least valuable.

Appearance It is a honey-yellow or yellow-brown color, sometimes tending to a pinkish orange similar to that of spessartine. It has good luster and seemingly good transparency, but when viewed with a lens or other form of magnification, the interior always looks “treac|y," with undulating, contorted areas of lesser transparency, like a highly concentrated sugar solution with frequent, rounded, transparent crystalline inclusions. The gems are normally given a mixed, oval, or round cut.

Distinctive features Seen through a lens, the "treacly" appearance combined with the color are a sure means of identification. Nothing comparable is found in other gems of similar color, such as citrine quartz, topaz, and yellow sapphire. Its luster, in any case, is superior to that of citrine quartz. It is distinguished from zircon of a similar color by its lack of obvious birefringence.

Occurrence lt mainly comes from Sri Lanka, but is also found in the United States, Canada, and Brazil.

Value The value of hessonite is rather low, like that of almandine and pyrope, despite its very attractive appearance.

Simulants and synthetics It has neither been imitated nor produced synthetically.