Doug Menadue - King Stone Gems - Merchants of loose coloured gemstones in Sydney Australia

Tsavorite garnet is a green to emerald colored variety of grossular garnet, which is composed of calcium aluminum silicate. The intense green of tsavorite is owed to traces of vanadium or chromium. This desirable hue can cause tsavorite to be mistaken for fine emeralds. The name “tsavorite” comes from the place where it was first discovered; Tsavo National Park in Tanzania on the borders of Kenya and Tanzania. To this day, this area is the only source of tsavorite garnet.

Tsavorite was discovered in 1967 by a Scottish gemologist called Campbell Bridges, whilst he was walking in Tanzania. Apparently, Bridges was charged by a buffalo and avoided the animal by diving into a gully. Looking around, he noticed some greenish rocks glinting in the sunlight. Later, Bridges and Tiffany & Co introduced tsavorite to the world.


Tsavorite Color

Tsavorite garnet ranges in color from bright yellowish green to deep green or bluish green. The most desired color is an intense, highly saturated green, or a medium bluish to medium-dark green.

Tsavorite Clarity and Luster

Tsavorite garnet is transparent to opaque with a vitreous lustre. It has a high refractive index, which gives it a good level of brilliance. Tsavorite gemstones should be eye-clean, meaning that no inclusions can be seen with the naked eye.


Tsavorite Cut and Shape

Translucent or opaque tsavorite garnet is commonly cut en cabochon and transparent material is cut in a variety of faceted shapes. Since tsavorite garnet is not often found in large sizes, the shapes that retain the most carat weight are often favored by lapidarists.


Tsavorite Jewelry

Tsavorite has a good level of brilliance and an attractive vitreous lustre, so when set with white or yellow precious metals, the results can be fantastic. Tsavorite can be used as a statement gemstone or it can be mixed with other colored gemstones for a cascade of colors such as in Dior’s “Dentelle Opale d’Orient” bracelet. Tsavorite is often seen mixed with diamonds or other colorless gemstones such as white sapphire or white topaz. Since tsavorite garnet gemstones are often available in smaller sizes, they are frequently set in pave style, which has an effect equally as dramatic as a large stone. Pave settings are also used for intricate artistic jewelry designs such as in Tiffany & Co’s flower brooches. Like all garnet, tsavorite rings are an excellent choice, since tsavorite is prized for its excellent durability.

Source: Gem Select