Tsavorite – Green Grossular Garnet
Our precise selection process allows us to offer the cleanest Tsavorite stones available on the market today.
Named after the Tsavo region in Kenya, tsavorite comes from the garnet family of gemstones. Primarily sourced today from Kenya and Tanzania, it is right up there with it’s cousins Demantoid and Spessartite as one of the highly-valued members of the garnet gem family.
As the story goes, in the 1961 Scottish geologist late Campbell Bridges, discovered Tsavorite garnets in present-day Zimbabwe when he jumped into a gully to save himself from a charging buffalo. Professional circumstances took him to Tanzania before he had a chance to delve deeper, where six years later he rediscovered the gem while exploring similar topography.
As with most newly discovered gems, for the longest time, it’s beauty was compared with green-hued gemstones that came before, such as emerald. In the past decade, however, designers, merchants, and connoisseurs have fallen in love with the distinctive character of this exotic gem from East Africa. Coloured by trace elements of Chromium and Vanadium (similar to emerald), tsavorite’s lush green colour was categorized by the geologist and miner the late Campbell Bridges as forest, water and grass green. Bridge’s grading system as explained by Mr Belmont of KV Gems, outlined Forest as visually bluish-green hue with 85%-90% green and 10%-15% blue, Water approximately 15% yellow, 10% blue and 75% green, and between the two, Grass or Leaf Green, as pure green with 80% green and balance equally divided between yellow and blue. While each tsavorite displays its unique combination of colours, we recommend a colour, which is primarily green with only a splash of yellow and a shadow of blue.
A distinguishing feature of tsavorite is its high refractive index (1.74 vs emerald at 1.57/59) and its light dispersion capabilities (0.14), which are double when compared with emerald.
Co-founder of KV Gems, Joe Belmont further explains, “Technicalities aside, the higher refractive index combined with greater dispersion of light means, when properly faceted, tsavorites radiate electric energy versus the sleepier glow of an emerald. It’s a playful gem, combining the rich green colour of an emerald with the shine of a diamond. Its distinctive character (singly refractive of light) works well with another popular gemstone: spinel. At KV Gems, we are proud to take great care in sourcing the best quality of both spinels and tsavorites.”
Elaborating on her father’s views, the youngest family member in the business, Maria Belmont elucidates, “We invest in tsavorite because we believe it’s currently underrated and its price will only appreciate with time. Acquiring and cutting tsavorite is also in line with our principle of providing only untreated gems to our clients. We endeavour to source only loupe-clean rough with well-saturated colour, employing our skills in fashioning them into exceptional green gems to delight the eye and captivate the heart.”