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 emerald 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
Top Color: oR, R, PR, rP 6/4
Almandine All sizes
to /ct
Fine Color Andradite: G 5/4
Andradite All sizes
to /ct
Chrome Pyrope All sizes
to /ct
Color Change .5 to 1 carat 1 to 6 carats
Africa to /ct to /ct
US to /ct to /ct
Demantoid to 1 carat 1 to 3 carats
to /ct to ,000/ct
Grossular Garnet .5 to 1 carat 1 to 5 carats 5 carats plus
Mint Green (Merelani) to /ct to /ct to /ct
Yellow/Orange to /ct to /ct to /ct
Yellow/Green to /ct to /ct to /ct
Other colors /ct /ct to /ct
Fine Color Hessonite: yO 4/5
Hessonite Garnet All sizes
to /ct
Malaya Garnet .5 to 1 carat 1 to 5 carats 5 carats plus
to /ct to /ct to /ct
Mozambique All sizes
to /ct
Mali Garnet All sizes
to /ct
Fine Color Spessartite: O 4/5
Mandarin Orange All sizes
to /ct
Fine Color Pyrope: R 6/5
Pyrope 1 carat plus
/ct
Fine Color Rhodolite: rP, PR 6/5
Rhodolite .5 to 1 carat 1 to 10 carats 10 carats plus
Faceted to /ct to /ct to /ct
Cabochons to /ct to /ct to /ct
Spessartite Reds See Mandarin above .5 to 3 carats 3 to 6 carats
Little 3 Mine to /ct to /ct
African to /ct to /ct
Darker reds to /ct
Star Garnet All sizes
6 ray star to /ct
4 ray star to /ct
Fine Color Tsavorite: G 6/5
Tsavorite .5 to 1 carat 1 to 2 carats 2 carats plus
Faceted to /ct to /ct to ,000/ct
Uvarovite 10 carats plus
Druzy to /ct
Cabochons All Sizes
Common red to purple to /ct

See the entire Gem Price Guide.

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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
Specific Gravity 3.55–3.73
Birefringence None.
Cleavage None
Dispersion 0.028
Luminescence Usually none in ultraviolet light (UV). Some specimens may fluoresce weakly golden yellow under shortwave (SW) or longwave (LW) UV, yellowish green or pink under SW UV, or orangish under LW UV. All massive material glows orange in X-rays, as do many faceted gems.
Wearability Good
Transparency Transparent to translucent.
Absorption Spectrum A trace of almandine garnet may produce a faint iron spectrum. A trace of Cr may produce a chrome spectrum in green grossular varieties. Massive grossular may show a weak line at 4610 or a band at 6300. Green, massive grossular from Pakistan shows a line at 6970 (weak) with weak lines in the orange, plus a strong band at 6300 and diffuse lines at 6050 and 5050.
Birthstone January.
FormulaCa3Al2Si3O12 + V, Cr
Pleochroism None.
Optics Isotropic. May show anomalous birefringence.
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.

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

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