Monday, October 5, 2009
First discovered in Kenya in 1968 Tsavorite was the first Green Garnet the world had known since small Russian deposits of Demantoid Garnet had run out in the late 19th century. Today Tsavorite's gorgeous bright green shades are rapidly growing in popularity as new digs in both Kenya and Tanzania turn up fabulous new sources.
Named for the Tsavo National Park - one of the world's largest wildlife sanctuaries, where hippos and crocodiles luxuriate in the Mzima Springs while snakes and man-eating lions do their utmost to scare gem-miners away!
Tsavorite is a green variant of grossular garnet (Ca3Al2(SiO4)3) which gets its coloring from vanadium &/or chromium impurities. Tsavorite is a robust gem suitable for all jewelry types.
Refractive Index : 1.74
Specific Gravity : 3.60-3.68
Moh's Scale of Hardness : 7-7.5
Garnets are a group of related minerals, containing cubic crystalline structure with slight variations in their chemical compositions. In all, there are 7 major types of Garnets, which include Almandine, Pyrope, Spessartine, Grossular, Andradite, Rhodolite and Malaia.
Tsavorite ranges from light green to very dark. The finest stones are eye clean with an intense medium green color. Tsavorite has grown tremendously in popularity in recent years as more stable supplies have reached the world market.
When evaluating all types of Garnets, color is the most important characteristic. The color must be intense and uniform with a tone that is not too light or too dark. Fine Garnets should be eye clean with minimal inclusions under magnification. Size is also a very critical determinant of the stone's value.