History of Tsavorite
Tsavorite is a stunning green gemstone in the grossular garnet family, and it looks similar to an emerald but is more brilliant and durable. It’s a pure, rare gemstone that deserves attention. It is a mineral containing silica and the presence of vanadium and chromium oxide creates the stone’s green color. They’re a newer gemstone that was discovered in the late 1960s and continues to grow in popularity. Tsavorites are a completely natural gemstone that doesn’t receive any treatment and there aren’t any synthetic versions of this stone. Keep reading to learn more about this intensely-hued green gemstone and what makes it so special.
The Discovery of Tsavorite
British geologist Campbell R. Bridges discovered Tsavorite in 1967. It was named by Harry Platt of Tiffany & Company (New York) who recognized its potential due to its gemological value. Platt named it after the Tsavo Game Reserve in Kenya where the stone was discovered. Today Tsavorite is found in both Tanzania and Kenya, but the finest quality Tsavorite, with pure green hues, is only found in Tsavo, Kenya.
Today Bridges Tsavorite is the family’s mine in Voi, Kenya. Campbell Bridges’ son, Bruce Bridges, runs the company since his father’s murder in 2009. He was murdered after a large group ambushed their vehicle on the way back to camp. Bruce and four security guards were in the vehicle as well. Campbell Bridges received death threats prior to the attack, and the family filed complaints with authorities for years about illegal mining on their land. The family appreciates that Campbell Bridges' memory lives on through the gemstone’s increasing popularity and worth.
Tsavorite is typically found in fairly small sizes. Stones over 2.5 carats are considered very rare and valuable. Fine quality tsavorite stones over two carats are more rare than emerald, and generally costs about one-tenth the price of an emerald.
Natural Tsavorites vs. Lab Created Tsavorites
Tsavorites are unique in many ways. One, you can’t find a synthetic version of Tsavorite because it has complex chemical and physical properties that make it difficult to replicate in a lab. In addition, Tsavorite does not require treatment or enhancements, which adds to this stone’s uniqueness. Not many stones do not receive treatment of any kind.
Significance throughout History
Tsavorite is a newer discovered stone and hasn’t been available since ancient times, so it doesn't have the same history as other gemstones. While it’s a fairly new gemstone to hit the market, it is one of the oldest forming gemstones in the gem kingdom. It formed 2 billion years ago before the mighty Mt Kilimanjaro existed (Africa’s highest mountain) and before the dinosaurs walked the earth.
However, tsavorite are part of the garnet family, which were important stones in ancient times. Garnets are considered stones with vibrant energy due to its intense color and brilliance. And tsavorites definitely have an intense color as well. Garnet’s beauty was described in religious texts such as the Bible and since ancient times these stones were used as medicinal and protective amulets.
Ancient cultures believed garnets offered protection. They were set in armor to protect higher-ranking soldiers and placed in ammunition to do more damage. While today garnets are well-known for their beauty rather than their mystical powers, garnets have historical significance as being a symbol of power.
What Tsavorite Means Today
Tsavorite, the stone of benevolence, vitality, prosperity, vigor, and compassion. It is believed to help one discover the beauty within themselves and others. Its intense green color and naturalness represents the untouched and wild nature. Similarly, its stunning hue and tone are reminiscent of the living energies of the earth, such as fertility, health and abundance.
Beyond its spiritual meaning, Tsavorite jewelry makes an ideal gift for those who love nature, natural gemstones, or are drawn to green. Garnets are a January birthstone, so a tsavorite could make a great fine jewelry gift (earrings, necklace, bracelet, or ring) for your loved one. Similarly, May’s birthstone is emerald, but tsavorites look like emeralds but with greater luster and brilliance. Consider tsavorite for gifts for your May love as well. A beautifully-colored gemstone is a wonder to behold. Each stone is unique and special, and its natural tones can evoke feelings of tranquility and peace. Check out this newer gemstone and add this unique, beautiful stone to your collection.
Tsavorite is 1000 times more rare than emerald. Tsavorite is so rare that gems over 5 carats are almost unheard of, and gemologists believe it may become near-extinct before long. Stones over 2.5 carats are very rare and valuable. Browse online for tsavorite examples of this gemstone in rings, necklaces, etc.
The color range of Tsavorite varies from spring-like light green to an intensely bluish green or deep forest green. The unusual green color of Tsavorite is caused by the presence of chromium and vanadium. The most sought-after color is an emerald green.
As rare as tsavorites are, they’re less expensive than emeralds because they’re not as well known. It’s the highest priced garnet because it’s so rare. The cost of the gemstone varies depending on the size and quality. Some high-quality, larger tsavorites can cost $8,000 per carat.