Tsavorite: King of Garnets

Tsavorite: King of Garnets

Group of loose tsavorite gemstones


Tsavorite garnet has been nicknamed the “King of Garnet” for a good reason. Only found in Tanzania and Kenya in commercial quantities, tsavorite is notoriously difficult to obtain. It was discovered in Tanzania in 1967 by geologist Campbell R. Bridges. A second deposit of this radiant green gem was again discovered by Bridges in the Tsavo region of Kenya in 1970. This green garnet did not receive its name until 1973, when former President of Tiffany & CO. and Campbell Bridges named it after one of the oldest and largest parks in Kenya, Tsavo National Park. Tsavorite meaning stone of Tsavo. Two main mining sites remain in Kenya and Tanzania. According to the Mohs scale, tsavorite garnet hardness ranks 7.25 to 7.5,  which means that this gem has a good level of toughness. This rating tells us that tsavorite is a good gem for daily wear, it won’t scuff or scratch easily. Tsavorite is a green variety of grossular garnet, though the color of tsavorite ranges from yellow-green to emerald green. 

Tsavorite vs Emeralds

Tsavorite is known for its vibrant green color that rivals emeralds, but is much more rare. Despite their rarity, when compared to emerald stones of a similar size they can cost up to one-tenth the price of an emerald. Tsavorite and emerald are the same hardness on the Mohs scale, but this is simply how easily the surface of a stone will scratch. Emeralds have cleavage and are less stable than tsavorite making them prone to damage from daily impact.  Tsavorite also has a higher refractive index than emeralds, making them brighter and shinier. It is very difficult to obtain an emerald with little to no inclusions or impurities whereas tsavorite generally exhibits far fewer inclusions. Speaking to the gem's quality, tsavorite is more transparent and resistant to breaking. A tsavorite ring may suit a more active lifestyle given emerald is less durable. Emerald rings often require a gentle wearer and a protective setting to prevent damage.

Tsavorite Meaning

Since tsavorite stones are a type of grossular garnet, it is acceptable to classify it as a January birthstone for those who don’t favor garnet’s most well-known pomegranate-red color. Garnet is a diverse gem in a wide array of colors, from orange and red to green and yellow. The January birthstone is a versatile one. The rarest of all garnets, tsavorite makes the most unique choice for January birthstone jewelry. To many, tsavorite represents strength and confidence. Being a form of garnet, tsavorite is closely connected with the heart chakra. It is rumored to enhance fertility, strengthen the kidneys, and encourage new growth.

Tsavorite Jewelry

Susan Kottemann is a connoisseur of fine gems with a love of unique and rare jewels. Her keen eye for detail helps her curate mystifying gems from across the world. Tsavorite is one of Susan’s favorite stones. She enjoys visiting Africa, especially Kenya and Tanzania’s tsavorite locales where tsavorite is mined. When she returns home, she brings back the connections she has made on her travels to ethically import these precious gems to the USA.

Tsavorite is definitely a beautiful gem with endless potential. While not as in-demand as rubies and sapphires, this underrated beauty deserves appreciation. Vibrant colors, durability, and clarity create a trifecta of perfection for collectors and connoisseurs of fine gems and jewelry. Tsavorite is near flawless, requiring no chemical treatments to enhance its natural beauty. These gems are perfect for jewelry, sure to impress anyone who sees them. They look beautiful as jewelry and can be worn daily with little worry of tarnish or damage. Contact our store today to inquire about purchasing a custom tsavorite necklace, tsavorite ring, tsavorite bracelet, or tsavorite earrings! Show this high quality gem some love by adding it to your collection today!

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