Tsavorite Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


“Tsavorite (Grossular Garnet),” Tanzania (4.11, 2.47, 1.25. 4.01). Photo © Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA. Used with permission.

Tsavorite (sometimes called tsavolite) is the green-colored variety of grossular garnet. First discovered in Tanzania in 1967, the gem became popular via a marketing campaign by Tiffany & Co. in the 1970s. With emerald-like color, tsavorite is one of the most popular and expensive varieties of garnet. This gemstone can be faceted into many designs and can be used in rings, pendants, necklaces, and earrings.

Tsavorite Value

Clean, quality tsavorite, rough or faceted, is not difficult to find. However, pieces over two carats are rare, and the price per carat jumps at that size. Stones up to one carat are common.

“Tsavorite Garnet on graphite,” Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mts, Arusha Region, Tanzania. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
“Tsavorite Garnet on Graphite,” Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mts, Arusha Region, Tanzania. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.

Garnet Value via Gem Price Guide

Tsavorite Information

DataValue
NameTsavorite
Is a Variety ofGrossular
Crystallography Isometric
Refractive Index 1.72 – 1.744
Colors Yellow green, green, deep green
Luster Greasy to vitreous
Polish Luster Vitreous
Fracture Conchoidal, uneven
Hardness 7 – 7.5
Toughness Very
Specific Gravity 3.55 – 3.73
Birefringence None
Cleavage None
Dispersion 0.028
Wearability Good
Birthstone January (Garnet)
FormulaCa3Al2Si3O12 + V, Cr
Pleochroism None
EtymologyNamed after Tsavo National Park, Kenya.
OccurrenceGrossular garnets occur in metamorphosed, impure calcareous rocks, especially contact zones; also in schists and serpentines.
Inclusions Fluids, asbestos fibers, rows of negative crystals.
“Tsavorite Garnet,” elongated, cut-cornered Barion triangle cut. © Dan Stair Custom Gemstones. Used with permission.
“Tsavorite Garnet,” elongated, cut-cornered Barion triangle cut, 2.21 cts, Kenya. © Dan Stair Custom Gemstones. Used with permission.

Comments

Tsavorite receives its prized green color from traces of vanadium (principally) and chromium. Although these gemstones have color that rivals emeralds, they have a higher dispersion and greater brilliance than emeralds and can match their hardness, usually without inclusions.  Tsavorites generally do not require protective jewelry settings.

Synthetics

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

Enhancements

These gemstones do not normally receive any treatments or enhancements, which makes them very desirable to collectors and enthusiasts of natural gems.

“Garnet var. Tsavorite (rough and cut set),” 0.87 ct gem, step trillion cut. Tsavo National Park, Kenya. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.
“Garnet var. Tsavorite (rough and cut set),” 0.87 ct gem, step trillion cut, Tsavo National Park, Kenya. © Rob Lavinsky, www.iRocks.com. Used with permission.

Sources

Commercial sources in Tanzania, Kenya, and Madagascar. Small deposits have been found in Pakistan and Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.

“Tsavorite,” Madagascar, by Géry Parent. Public Domain.
“Tsavorite,” Madagascar, by Géry Parent. Public Domain.

Sizes

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

Care

Gems with fluid inclusions should not be cleaned with mechanical systems or exposed to extreme heat. The use of warm water, detergent, and a soft brush is the recommended cleaning method for all garnets. Consult our gem care guide and jewelry cleaning guide for more information.

“Tree Frog Earrings,” leaf-green tsavorite garnet rondelles, by Marianne Madden is licensed under CC By-SA 2.0
“Tree Frog Earrings,” leaf-green tsavorite garnet rondelles, by Marianne Madden is licensed under CC By-SA 2.0