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.
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.
The International Gem Society (IGS) has a list of businesses offering gemstone appraisal services.
|Is a Variety of||Grossular|
|Colors||Yellow green, green, deep green. Very rare color zoning.|
|Luster||Greasy to vitreous.|
|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.|
|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.|
|Formula||Ca3Al2Si3O12 + V, Cr|
|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.|
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.
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.
Normally, these gemstones don’t receive any treatments or enhancements, which makes them very desirable to collectors and enthusiasts of natural gems.
Commercial sources for gem-quality tsavorites include Tanzania, Kenya, and Madagascar. Small deposits also occur in Pakistan and Queen Maud Land, Antarctica.
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.
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.