A newer gemstone on the market, Tsavorite is the stunning green variety of the grossular group of garnets. These rare gems are more affordable than emeralds, are free from inclusions, have a naturally vivid light to deep green hue and are durable enough for everyday wear. If you’re considering a green stone, Tsavorite is worth exploring.
What Color is Tsavorite?
Tsavorite (saav-oh-rite) was discovered by British gem prospector Campbell R. Bridges in the volcanic mountains of Tanzania in 1967. The name “tsavorite” was chosen by Bridges and Henry Platt, the president of Tiffany & Co. (one of the world’s largest jewelry companies) in reference to its initial discovery around Tsavo National Park, a wildlife preserve in the African Serengeti. The finest Tsavorite, with the purest green hues is only found in Tsavo, Kenya making it an extremely rare gemstone.
With colors that can range from a fresh spring-green to a rich bluish-green to a deep forest-green, Tsavorite, though lesser known than the more famous emerald, has a lot to offer. Tsavorite is the green variety of the grossular group of garnets, with trace elements of vanadium or chromium providing its color. The lower, lighter colored grades are relatively easy to come by up to the one carat size, but top color stones are harder to come by, especially over two carats.
Until it was discovered, there was no other stone but emerald that could offer such a rich, dark green color. Tsavorite is the highest priced garnet on the market today, but these green garnets are still priced less than emeralds of similar quality. Tsavorite is remarkably bright and sparkling, more so than an emerald because its refractive index is considerably higher at 1.74 (emerald at 1.57), and because its dispersion of 0.028 is double that of emerald’s which is only 0.014.
Is Tsavorite Good for Jewelry?
With a hardness of 7 – 7.5 and a vibrancy and color akin to emerald, Tsavorite is one of the best garnets for an engagement ring. Although they have about the same hardness, Tsavorite is actually more durable than emerald, is more brilliant when faceted, and also much rarer than an emerald. Maybe because it lacks the magic and antiquity of the name “emerald”, or is still new on the market, it’s in much lower demand and therefore less expensive than emeralds of comparable color.
Due to its high refractive index and dispersion levels, Tsavorite is incredibly sparkly and eye-catching, and really pops when set with diamonds, which also have a high refractive index. Tsavorite looks stunning in platinum and both white or yellow gold settings, and is available in a much wider range of cuts than emeralds including brilliants. Famous gemologists Richard Hughes and Vincent Tardieu, called it “the untamed green garnet beauty” it’s one of the best options if you desire a green gem for your engagement ring.
If you find yourself drawn to green gemstones and are looking to create a stunning and unique engagement ring, we can help! Give us a call at 303-385-8449 or click here to schedule an appointment where we can answer all of your questions and help you design the ring of your dreams.