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Tsavorite Garnet Gemstone Information

Tsavorite Gemstone - Large Image
Natural Tsavorite Gemstone

About Tsavorite Garnet - History and Introduction

Tsavorite garnet is a green to emerald colored variety of grossular garnet, which is composed of calcium aluminum silicate. The intense green of tsavorite is owed to traces of vanadium or chromium. This desirable hue can cause tsavorite to be mistaken for fine emeralds. The name "tsavorite" comes from the place where it was first discovered; Tsavo National Park in Tanzania on the borders of Kenya and Tanzania. To this day, this area is the only source of tsavorite garnet.

Tsavorite was discovered in 1967 by a Scottish gemologist called Campbell Bridges, whilst he was walking in Tanzania. Apparently, Bridges was charged by a buffalo and avoided the animal by diving into a gully. Looking around, he noticed some greenish rocks glinting in the sunlight. Later, Bridges and Tiffany & Co introduced tsavorite to the world. Sadly, Campbell Bridges was murdered by a mob in Kenya in August 2009 at the age of 71. It is believed that the killing was a result of disputed mining rights.

Tsavorite Garnet Gemstones

Identifying Tsavorite Garnet

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Garnet can be identified by its occurrence in metamorphic rock, its hardness (6.5 - 7.5 on the Mohs scale), color and cubic crystal structure. However, the quickest way to identify garnet is with the use of strong neodymium magnets. Garnet is attracted to neodymium magnets because it contains high concentrations of iron and/or manganese. Grossular garnet and pyrope garnet are the least magnetic of the garnet group, which can help to distinguish tsavorite from the more magnetic demantoid garnet. Additionally, the refractive index (1.734 to 1.759) of tsavorite helps to identify it from other garnet types and other gemstones.

Tsavorite Garnet; Origin and Gemstone Sources

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Tsavorite garnet is only found in Africa, on the border of Kenya and Tanzania.

Buying Tsavorite Garnet and Determining Tsavorite Garnet Gemstone Value

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Tsavorite Garnet Color

Tsavorite garnet ranges in color from bright yellowish green to deep green or bluish green. The most desired color is an intense, highly saturated green, or a medium bluish to medium-dark green.

Tsavorite Garnet Clarity and Lustre

Tsavorite garnet is transparent to opaque with a vitreous lustre. It has a high refractive index, which gives it a good level of brilliance. Tsavorite gemstones should be eye-clean, meaning that no inclusions can be seen with the naked eye.

Tsavorite Garnet Cut and Shape

Translucent or opaque tsavorite garnet is commonly cut en cabochon and transparent material is cut in a variety of faceted shapes. Since tsavorite garnet is not often found in large sizes, the shapes that retain the most carat weight are often favored by lapidarists.

Tsavorite Garnet Treatment

Tsavorite garnets are not usually treated or enhanced in any way.

Tsavorite Garnet Gemological Properties:

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Chemical Formula: Ca3Al2(siO4)3 Calcium aluminum silicate
Crystal Structure: Cubic; rhombic dodecahedron, icositetrahedron
Color: Green to emerald green
Hardness: 6.5 to 7.5 on the Mohs scale
Refractive Index: 1.734 to 1.759
Density: 3.57 to 3.73
Cleavage: Indistinct
Transparency: Transparent to opaque
Double Refraction or Birefringence: Usually none
Lustre: Vitreous
Fluorescence: Strong: red-orange

Please refer to our Gemstone Glossary for details of gemology-related terms.

Tsavorite Garnet: Related or Similar Gemstones

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Tourmaline Gemstone

As a member of the garnet family, tsavorite is related to the other garnets, such as spessartite, andradite garnets (melanite, demantoid and topazolite), almandine garnets, pyrope garnets (rhodolite) and uvarovite. Since tsavorite is a type of grossularite, it is most closely related to the other grossular garnets (hydrogrossular, hessonite and leuco garnet).

Due to its intense green color, tsavorite garnet can sometimes be confused with demantoid garnet, emerald and tourmaline.

Tsavorite Garnet Gemstone Mythology, Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers

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In general, garnet has long been thought of as a travelers' stone. In fact, Noah's Ark is said to have had a garnet lantern to help navigate during the night. Garnet is also thought to promote successful business, encourage compassion and aid self-confidence. Garnet is said to have the ability to heal the blood and encourage good circulation. Garnet is the traditional birthstone for January, the zodiacal stone for Aquarius and the second anniversary stone.

In particular, tsavorite garnet is thought to provide its wearer with strength, vitality and positivity. It is also believed to help the immune system, respiration, metabolism and detoxification. Due to its green color, traditional Hindu belief systems associate tsavorite with Anahata, or the heart chakra. This chakra relates to love, compassion, psychic healing and decision making. Thus tsavorite is thought to be helpful in calming the emotions. Tsavorite garnet is an alternative birthstone for May, due to its green color According to feng shui beliefs, tsavorite carries wood energy, which is considered good for growth.

Disclaimer: Metaphysical and Alternative Crystal Healing Powers and Properties are not to be taken as confirmed advice. Traditional, Ceremonial and Mythological Gemstone Lore is collected from various resources and does not represent the sole opinion of SETT Co., Ltd. This information is not to replace the advice of your doctor. Should you have any medical conditions, please see a licensed medical practitioner. GemSelect does not guarantee any claims or statements of healing or astrological birthstone powers and cannot be held liable under any circumstances.

Tsavorite Garnet Gemstone and Jewelry Design Ideas

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Tsavorite has a good level of brilliance and an attractive vitreous lustre, so when set with white or yellow precious metals, the results can be fantastic. Tsavorite can be used as a statement gemstone or it can be mixed with other colored gemstones for a cascade of colors such as in Dior's "Dentelle Opale d'Orient" bracelet. Tsavorite is often seen mixed with diamonds or other colorless gemstones such as white sapphire or white topaz. Since tsavorite garnet gemstones are often available in smaller sizes, they are frequently set in pave style, which has an effect equally as dramatic as a large stone. Pave settings are also used for intricate artistic jewelry designs such as in Tiffany & Co's flower brooches. Like all garnet, tsavorite rings are an excellent choice, since tsavorite is prized for its excellent durability.

Note: Buy colored gemstones by size and not by carat weight. Colored stones vary in size-to-weight ratio. Some stones are larger and others are smaller than diamonds by weight in comparison.

Famous Tsavorite Garnet Gemstones

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An enormous faceted tsavorite, weighing 325.13 carats was on display at the Tucson Gem Show 2007. This is believed to be the world's largest, cleanest tsavorite garnet.

Avant-garde German Jewelry House, Hemmerle, are famous for their signature tassel earrings, and one of the most striking pairs are fashioned from vivid green emeralds and tsavorite garnets.

One of the most famous Tiffany & Co designs is the Schlumberger tsavorite seahorse pin.

Tsavorite Garnet Gemstone Jewelry Care and Cleaning

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How to clean your gemstonesProper care for tsavorite garnets includes cleaning tsavorite garnet gems using only warm, soapy water and a soft cloth. Be sure to rinse well to remove soapy residue. As with most gemstones, ultrasonic cleaners and steamers are not recommended. Always remove any jewelry or gemstones before exercising, cleaning or engaging in harsh physical activities such as sport. Store tsavorite garnets away from other gemstones to avoid scratches. It is best to wrap gemstones in soft cloth or place them inside a fabric-lined jewelry box.

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