Tsavorite is the name given to the bright green variety of grossular garnet. Although garnet is best known as a red gem it occurs in a variety of colours due to variation in the elements present in the stone’s composition. Grossular garnet is the calcium aluminium silicate variety with tiny amounts of chromium or vanadium providing the colour for Tsavorite.
A relatively new discovery, Tsavorite was first found in the 1960s by renowned geologist Campbell Bridges. It was launched onto the jewellery market by Tiffany and Co. who were influential in providing the gem with its name; after the Tsavo National Park in Kenya which is close to the area around the Kenya-Tanzania border that remains the only commercial source for the gem.
Tsavorite formed hundreds of millions of years ago under extremely high pressures and temperatures. Most of the rough material found is fractured and the gem is therefore only generally available in small sizes. Most are less than a carat in weight and it is a very rare gem in sizes over three carats.
Being green, it is inevitable that comparisons are made between Tsavorite and Emerald; in the images below the ring on the left features a Tsavorite and the ring on the right an Emerald. Both gems are most desirable in vivid pure green to blue-green hues, but their appearance is often quite different. Tsavorites tend to have a much higher level of clarity than emerald and are a much more ‘sparkly’ gemstone. The way in which Tsavorite interacts with light means it produces more brilliance and fire; it looks beautiful and really holds its own when set alongside diamonds.
Although the hardness value of the two gems is similar, Tsavorite is a tougher material and is far less prone to brittleness than Emerald, making it more durable for regular wear. Tsavorite is also completely natural and not subject to any kind of treatment to enhance its appearance, which increases its desirability.
Despite being a much rarer material, Tsavorite is less well-known and lacks the long history of emerald; this means that it is still a much more affordable gemstone. Therefore, if you are looking for a bright and sparkling green gemstone piece, Tsavorite could offer a beautiful and affordable alternative. The stunning location it is sourced from, famous the world over for its incredible scenery and wildlife, adds romance to this amazing gemstone’s story.
You can view Tsavorite jewellery on our website or visit us in our showroom where our team will be happy to answer your questions and help source your perfect piece.