Hessonite is a gem quality variety of grossularite (grossular) garnet, the calcium-aluminum silicate member of the garnet species . While most varieties of grossularite are green, hessonite is known for its characteristic honey-yellow to brown-red 'cinnamon' color, though it can occur in other colors as well. It is referred to as the ' cinnamon stone ' or the 'kaneel stone' in reference to its distinct color. Other types of grossular garnets include the more common green grossularite, chromium-rich tsavorite , the rare hydrogrossular garnet and the rare leuco garnet (colorless).
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 .