Hot Rocks: Tsavorite

by Linda McMurray, G.G., A.J.P

Rich, intense Green Tsavorite Garnet is the one gemstone that rivals the Emerald in its beauty and color.  This gem was found in the early 1970s in Kenya.  They identified the highly brilliant, green gem as a transparent green variety of Garnet species of Grossularite Garnet.  Tiffany & Company in 1974 marketed the magnificent green garnet as Tsavorite, named after Kenya’s Tsavo National Park.

Exotic Tsavorite is limited, as very few sources have been discovered.  It can be found in Africa from two sources in Kenya and Tanzania.  It has also been mined in Brazil and Sri Lanka.  Tsavorite is one of the most expensive and sought after Garnets.  The Tsavorite crystals that are found are generally very small in size.  A faceted Tsavorite Garnet of 1 to 3 carats is very rare and very valuable.  The largest faceted Tsavorite is just under 24 carats.

Did you know that green Tsavorite Garnet is the birthstone for January?  It is a Garnet and no, it does not have to be red.

Grossular Garnets go by different names depending on their color, including Hessonite for yellow and Tsavorite for green.

Tsavorite Garnet is 100% Natural and is not treated in any way.  This gemstone is very durable in jewelry; it rates 7 to 7 1/2 on the MOHS scale for hardness.

As with any gemstone you purchase, buy from a reputable person who will guarantee the authenticity of your gem and disclose to you any enhancement or treatments that have been done. 

Linda McMurray is co-owner of Best Cut Gems in Beverly Hills, FL and is a certified Gemologist. Visit her online store for a wide selection of gemstones, cabochons, finished jewelry and more gemstone facts.

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Posted in Hot Rocks

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