Tsavorite Garnet Value, Price, and Jewelry Information


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.

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 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
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. Very rare color zoning.
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 East 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.
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