Tsavorite Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information

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

Tsavorite Garnet

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.

Tsavorite Garnet Value

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.

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

Garnet Value via Gem Price Guide

Almandine

Top Color: oR, R, PR, rP 6/4
Almandine All sizes
to /ct

Almandine/Pyrope Blend ("Mozambique")

Red-Brown Colors
"Mozambique" All sizes
to /ct

Rhodolite (Almandine/Pyrope Blend)

Fine Color: 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

Andradite

Fine Color: G 5/4
Andradite All sizes
to /ct

Demantoid

Demantoid to 1 carat 1 to 3 carats
to /ct to ,000/ct

Grossular

Grossular .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

Hessonite

Fine Color: yO 4/5
Hessonite Garnet All sizes
to /ct

Tsavorite

Fine Color: G 6/5
Tsavorite .5 to 1 carat 1 to 2 carats 2 carats plus
Faceted to /ct to /ct to ,000/ct

Mali Garnets (Andradite/Grossular Blend)

Mali Garnet All sizes
to /ct

Malaya (Malaia) Garnets

Malaya Garnet .5 to 1 carat 1 to 5 carats 5 carats plus
to /ct to /ct to /ct

Pyrope

Fine Color: R 6/5
Pyrope 1 carat plus
/ct

Chrome Pyrope

Chrome Pyrope All sizes
to /ct

Spessartite

Spessartite Reds .5 to 3 carats 3 to 6 carats
Little 3 Mine to /ct to /ct
African to /ct to /ct
Darker reds to /ct

Mandarin

Fine Color: O 4/5
Mandarin Orange All sizes
to /ct

Uvarovite

Uvarovite 10 carats plus
Druzy to /ct

Star Garnet

Star Garnet All sizes
6 ray star to /ct
4 ray star to /ct

Color Change

Color Change .5 to 1 carat 1 to 6 carats
Africa to /ct to /ct
US to /ct to /ct

Cabochons

Cabochons All Sizes
Common red to purple to /ct

Tsavorite Garnet Information

Data Value
Name Tsavorite Garnet
Is a Variety of Grossular Garnet
Colors Yellow green, green, deep green. Very rare color zoning.
Crystallography Isometric.
Refractive Index 1.72–1.744
Luster Greasy to vitreous.
Polish Luster Vitreous.
Hardness 7–7.5
Wearability Good
Fracture Conchoidal, uneven
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.
Luminescence Present Yes
Luminescence Type Fluorescent, UV-Long, UV-Short, X-ray Colors
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.
Formula

Ca3Al2Si3O12 + V, Cr

Pleochroism

None.

Optics

Isotropic. May show anomalous birefringence.

Etymology

Named after Tsavo East National Park, Kenya.

Occurrence

Grossular garnets occur in metamorphosed, impure calcareous rocks, especially contact zones; also in schists and serpentines.

Inclusions

Fluids, asbestos fibers, rows of negative crystals.

faceted tsavorite gems - Tanzania

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

Comments

Although named after the Tsavo East National Park in Kenya, tsavorite (sometimes called tsavolite) was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967. This gemstone became popular via a marketing campaign by Tiffany & Co. in the 1970s.

Tsavorites receive their prized green color from traces of vanadium (principally) and chromium. While these gems rival emeralds in color, they also have greater dispersion and brilliance and can match their hardness, usually without inclusions. In addition, like many garnets, tsavorites make good engagement ring stones that typically don’t require protective settings.

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.

Synthetics

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

Enhancements

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

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.

Sources

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

Tsavorite crystals - 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.

Care

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, by Marianne Madden is licensed under CC By-SA 2.0

“Tree Frog Earrings,” leaf-green tsavorite garnet rondelles. Photo and jewelry by Marianne Madden. Licensed under CC By-SA 2.0

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