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Imperial Hessonite

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ger100

Shiny_Rock
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Sep 24, 2006
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172
Is there really such a thing as Imperial Hessonite? And is it new/old/rare?? Should it have the pink/gold tones of other "Imperial" stones, such as Topaz?

Thanks
Ger
 

Richard M.

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
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1,104
Ger,

I'm curious where you saw that name used. I can tell you up front that "hessonite" and "cinnamon stone" are very old names for brownish-orange garnet of the calcium-aluminum grossular garnet species. There is also a light-hued variety traditionally called "peach grossular," which is probably what the seller has re-named "imperial." Grossular garnet occurs in more colors than any other garnet species used for gems and also yields the green variety called tsavorite. Many grossular colors are not named. I'd like to follow up and see what the seller is offering.

Marketers are constantly playing games with garnet names to the point of meaninglessness. All the different names for essentially the same thing confuse the consuming public. The term "imperial" as applied to gems is basically meaningless too. There's huge disagreement among gemologists as to what color/s so-called Imperial Topaz really is, and I'm aware of about 3 different kinds of garnet called "imperial."

Richard M.
 

ger100

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 24, 2006
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172
Where else but on JTV!
Actually I noticed a small "tm" on a few of them, which I assume means a trade marked named. They were saying how "rare" this Imperial Hessonite was, blah blah blah. That it was just recently discovered and
that there was a limited supply and that they bought most of it...on par with their regular spiel. But ya never know. It was kind of interesting looking on live video, but the online photos look like washed out pale yellow gray. Just curious.

Thanks!
 

Kaleigh

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 18, 2004
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29,570
Date: 4/7/2007 12:14:56 AM
Author: ger100
Where else but on JTV!
Actually I noticed a small ''tm'' on a few of them, which I assume means a trade marked named. They were saying how ''rare'' this Imperial Hessonite was, blah blah blah. That it was just recently discovered and
that there was a limited supply and that they bought most of it...on par with their regular spiel. But ya never know. It was kind of interesting looking on live video, but the online photos look like washed out pale yellow gray. Just curious.

Thanks!
I knew it!!!
 

Richard M.

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Feb 17, 2004
Messages
1,104
I just Googled the name "Imperial Hessonite" and came up with quite a few hits. As I suspected, it''s a new marketing name for an old stone. There are three kinds of gem names: traditional, scientific and marketing/trade names.

Traditionally this gem was called "peach hessonite." (While the same color is found elsewhere and called by its scientific name, the name "hessonite" has been associated with Sri Lanka for millenia and "peach hessonite" was probably coined there to distinguish the color from the original brownish-orange hessonite).

Scientifically it would be identified by the hue (i.e., yellow or pinkish-yellow) followed by the species name, as in "pinkish-yellow grossular." Trade names? Who can say: everyone can invent and trademark their own, so one company''s "Imperial Hessonite" might be another''s "Mysterious Golden Sri Lankan Garnet," all trademarked and official-sounding, and designed to capture a buyer''s attention.

Don''t look to trade groups like AGTA to steer consumers through these rocky shoals. One of the biggest practitioners of renaming gems and trademarking them (known as "branding") is the company owned by a person who served multiple terms as AGTA''s president.

Is this a bad thing? It depends on your point of view. If you''re a seller looking for ways to stimulate consumer interest and stand out from the crowd, absolutely not. That''s how we got well known trademarked consumer products like Arm & Hammer baking soda, Skippy peanut butter, Scotch tape, Champagne Diamonds (yes, it''s a trademarked name), etc.

If you''re a consumer trying to tiptoe through the already confusing world of colored gems, it could be. How can one distinguish between all the distracting and sometimes contradictory names for essentially the same thing, i.e., mandarin garnet, hollandine garnet, kashmirine, spessartite garnet, fanta garnet, sunkist garnet, tangerine garnet, etc.? Maybe you can find a "brand" and a seller you trust, but you may be overlooking great bargains going under another name for the same stone.

There''s always the scientific approach, which helps keep terms straight, but it''s not very romantic and involves a little work and study. I''ve tried to stick to it when possible but have lost many sales to dealers who are more into "romancing the stone" and keeping consumers off-balance.

Richard M.
 
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