Tsavorite is the name usually associated with the darker green garnets, but there is no universally accepted standard that designates which shade of green qualifies a green garnet as a Tsavorite.
Tsavorite is the most important member of the grossularite garnet group. The lighter green tones are simply known as grossularite while the medium to darker greens are referred to as tsavorite. In practice however, there is no established dividing line that determines which stones should be called green grossularites and which ones should be referred to as tsavorites. Fine tsavorites are known for their strong brilliance and fine grass to chrome green hues.
Tsavorite garnet was first discovered by British gem prospector Campbell R. Bridges in the mountains of north-east Tanzania in 1967. The name Tsavorite was chosen by the promoters from Tiffany & Co in reference to the initial find in the area in and around Tsavo National Park between Kenya and Tanzania. A member of the garnet group, the species is grossularite and the variety is tsavorite. Tsavorite is considered to be the most valued variety of this species. Although Tsavorite is the name usually associated with the darker green garnets, there is no universally accepted standard that designates which shade of green qualifies as tsavorite.
Many experts believe tsavorite will be the next demantoid, extinct and ultra rare. It is often called the Rolls-Royce of greens at Cadillac prices. From a collectors perspective, tsavorite is 200 rarer than emerald. It is cleaner, more brilliant, and it is never treated to enhance it´s color or clarity. Today most of the tsavorite production is centered around Voi near the border of Kenya and Tanzania. Faceted gemstones over 3 carat in size are considered to be very rare and valuable.
Only a few extraordinary very large tsavorites were ever found and they were all found in the Meralani area near Arusha, in Tanzania. Remarkably, most of the best stones came from the same pocket. In 2006, - a very large and extremely clean mint green Tsavorite weighing 120.68 carats was unearthed along with 8 or 10 other fine large stones. Then, in the following year, a much larger stone which turned out to be the largest tsavorite ever, was also found. That stone weighed over 325 carats and was valued at over two million dollars at that time. It was supposedly sold to a European collector.
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