cushion-cut tsavorite - Kenya
cushion-cut tsavorite - Kenya

Tsavorite Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


An emerald-green variety of grossular garnet, tsavorite is one of the most popular and expensive varieties of garnet. Suitable for any type of jewelry, tsavorites can be faceted into many designs.

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An emerald-green variety of grossular garnet, tsavorite is one of the most popular and expensive varieties of garnet. Suitable for any type of jewelry, tsavorites can be faceted into many designs.

cushion-cut tsavorite - Kenya
Custom cushion-cut tsavorite garnet, 1.42 cts, 7.3 x 5.3 mm, Kenya. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

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Tsavorite Garnet Value

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Clean, quality tsavorite, rough or faceted, isn’t difficult to find. Stones up to one carat are common. However, pieces over two carats are rare, and the price per carat jumps dramatically at that size. Stones with deep green, emerald-like color will command the highest prices.

For more detailed information on buying tsavorites, consult our garnet buying guide.

“Tsavorite Garnet on graphite,” Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mts, Arusha Region, Tanzania. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
Tsavorite garnet on graphite, 1.8 x 1.5 x 1.5 cm, Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mts., Arusha Region, Tanzania. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
faceted tsavorites - Tanzania
Tsavorite (Garnet), Tanzania (4.11, 2.47, 1.25. 4.01). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

What is Tsavorite?

Although named after the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, tsavorite (sometimes called tsavolite) was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967. This variety of grossular garnet became a popular gemstone via a marketing campaign by Tiffany & Co. in the 1970s. Tsavorites receive their prized green color from traces of vanadium (principally) and chromium.

  • tsavorite rough and cut set - Kenya
  • tsavorite crystal - Kenya
  • trillion-cut tsavorite - Kenya

    Tsavorite rough and cut set. Crystal, 3.3 x 3.2 x 1.6 cm; trilliant step-cut gem, 0.87 cts. Tsavo National Park, Kenya. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

    Does Tsavorite Make a Good Jewelry Stone?

    Like many garnets, tsavorites make good engagement ring stones that typically don't require protective settings. Tsavorites can rival emeralds in color and also have greater dispersion and brilliance and can match their hardness, usually without inclusions.

    tsavorite and diamond ring
    14k yellow gold ring with a 1.25-ct tsavorite center stone and 0.19-ctw diamonds. Photo courtesy of courtesy of liveauctioneers.com and Roland NY.

    Identifying Characteristics

    Tsavorite from Lualenyi, Kenya has a refractive index (RI) of 1.743 and a specific gravity (SG) of 3.61 (mean). Inert in ultraviolet (UV) light, it contains a trace of chromium and a significant amount of vanadium.

    bi-color tsavorite - Tanzania
    Very rarely, tsavorites can show color zoning, like this rectangular step-cut bi-color specimen. 0.69 cts, 6.1 x 3.8 mm, Tanzania. © The Gem Trader. Used with permission.

    Are There Any Synthetic Tsavorite Garnets?

    Tsavorite hasn't been synthesized. However, green glass as well as green yttrium aluminium garnet (YAG), a synthetic garnet, have been used as simulants.

    Normally, these gemstones don't receive any treatments or enhancements, which makes them very desirable to collectors and enthusiasts of natural gems.

    Where are Tsavorites Found?

    Commercial sources for gem-quality tsavorites include Tanzania, Kenya, and Madagascar. Small deposits also occur in Pakistan and Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.

    Tsavorites in matrix - Madagascar
    Tsavorite crystals in gangue, Madagascar. Photo by Géry Parent. Public Domain.

    Sizes

    Clean tsavorites over one carat are rare. However, in 2006, a crystal weighing 925 cts (185 g) was discovered in Tanzania. It yielded an oval, brilliant step-cut 325-ct gem, likely the largest clean specimen ever discovered.

    Caring for Tsavorite Jewelry

    Although generally clean, some tsavorites do contain inclusions. Gems with fluid inclusions shouldn't be cleaned with mechanical systems or exposed to extreme heat. Instead, use warm water, detergent, and a soft brush. (This advice applies to garnets in general). Consult our gem care guide and jewelry cleaning guide for more information.

    "Tree Frog Earrings," leaf-green tsavorite garnet rondelles. Photo and jewelry by tthmpson. Licensed under CC By-SA 2.0

    Joel E. Arem, Ph.D., FGA

    Dr. Joel E. Arem has more than 60 years of experience in the world of gems and minerals. After obtaining his Ph.D. in Mineralogy from Harvard University, he has published numerous books that are still among the most widely used references and guidebooks on crystals, gems and minerals in the world.

    Co-founder and President of numerous organizations, Dr. Arem has enjoyed a lifelong career in mineralogy and gemology. He has been a Smithsonian scientist and Curator, a consultant to many well-known companies and institutions, and a prolific author and speaker. Although his main activities have been as a gem cutter and dealer, his focus has always been education. joelarem.com


    Donald Clark, CSM IMG

    The late Donald Clark, CSM founded the International Gem Society in 1998. Donald started in the gem and jewelry industry in 1976. He received his formal gemology training from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the American Society of Gemcutters (ASG). The letters “CSM” after his name stood for Certified Supreme Master Gemcutter, a designation of Wykoff’s ASG which has often been referred to as the doctorate of gem cutting. The American Society of Gemcutters only had 54 people reach this level. Along with dozens of articles for leading trade magazines, Donald authored the book “Modern Faceting, the Easy Way.”


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