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What Is a Tsavorite Garnet Gemstone?

What Is a Tsavorite Garnet Gemstone?

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What Is a Tsavorite Garnet Gemstone?

In the world of jewelry how often have you heard of tsavorite? It's pronounced "suh-VOR-uht." As the world's rarest garnet, this precious stone often commands a high price, but can still be a better deal than other colored gems. Garnets, which are among the oldest known gemstones, generally symbolize love and friendship. Here are reasons why tsavorite garnet is special and sought by avid jewelry collectors.

A Brief Description of Tsavorite Garnet

Most tsavorite garnets are transparent with a color range from yellow to green, while deep emerald green is the most sought by collectors. Its unique color is attributed to the mineral's trace amounts of vanadium and chromium. Blue-green is considered very unique for the gemstone while no completely blue tsavorite garnets exist in nature. The deep green color can be accented when paired with shiny white or yellow metal.

Tremendous clarity is central to the gem's mythos. The gem's inclusions resemble feathers or fine needles. Although tsavorite has a similar appearance to an emerald due to its clarity and green color, it's not related. Tsavorite is much more rare compared with an emerald, although it doesn't necessarily cost as much, depending on clarity.

The largest tsavorite garnet found to date weighs 325 carats and was showcased at the Tucson Gem Show in 2007. High-quality tsavorites can be sold at $8,000 per carat. The gem fits the category of fine jewelry and requires special care because the stone can be easily damaged. It's not a jewel that should be worn while exercising or doing intense work. That's why it's a wise idea to keep the specimen stored in a safe place when not in use.

How Tsavorite Garnet was Discovered

The tsavorite garnet was discovered by environmentalist and conservationist Campbell Bridges in Tsavo National Park, Kenya in 1967. The park is located near the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Together, Bridges and Tiffany's Henry Platt coined the term "tsavorite" in 1974 and introduced it to the jewelry industry. This natural stone, which has not been mass produced in synthetic form, attracts high-end buyers.

Other places where the gem is mined include Tanzania, Afghanistan, Russia, Mozambique, India and Brazil. Most tsavorites, though, are found in East Africa. Some gemologists believe that tsavorite is so rare it may become extinct in the near future.

Tsavorite's Place in the Jewelry Market

As mentioned earlier, tsavorite is not well known, except by avid jewelry enthusiasts. Since tsavorite is a colored gemstone, it's chosen sometimes for engagement rings, particularly by unconventional couples. Another quality that draws interest to the stone is it has a more brilliant sparkle with more transparency compared with an emerald.

Traditionally, garnets are January birthstones, but tsavorite garnets sometimes are celebrated as May birthstones in place of emeralds. Garnets cover a vast range of mineral species and are defined by their amazing brilliance and cubic crystal structure.


Perhaps you're finding out about the rare and beautiful tsavorite garnet for the first time. It's a gem worth remembering due to how it outshines emeralds but typically doesn't cost as much. Contact us at Ralph Mueller & Associates for more information on tsavorite garnets and other rare collectible jewelry.