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 Tsavorite Garnet

 

Gemstone:
Tsavorite Garnet

Birthstone Month:
Garnet is the gemstone for the month of January.

Zodiac:
Garnet is associated with the zodiac sign of Aquarius.

Chemical Symbol:
Ca3Al2(SiO4)3

Chemical Make-up:
Tsavorite is a member of Grossular Garnet family of gemstones, and is made up of aluminum, calcium, chromium, iron, magnesium, manganese, titanium and vanadium. It is the presence of vanadium / chromium that gifts Tsavorite Garnet with its green coloration.

History & Lore:
The word Grossular is derived a Latin word meaning “gross”, or large in size”. The name Garnet is taken from the Latin word granatium, which means “pomegranate” and it is generally believed that this association was a result of the Garnet crystals being similar in size and shape to the seeds of the pomegranate fruit.

Whilst undoubtedly millions and millions of years old, Tsavorite Garnet is a relatively recently discovered gemstone (circa 1967), whose discovery is attributed to the British geologist Campbell R. Brides. Initial export problems delayed the worldwide “launch”of this beautiful gemstone, but this was eventually overcome and in 1974 Tiffany & Co. began marketing this gemstone to the world.

Garnet is said to be the stone of romantic love and passion, with the power to enhance sensuality, sexuality and intimacy. It is said to awaken creativity, positive energy and self-confidence, helping to bring success to careers or businesses. Garnet is also considered to be a protective stone, effectively shielding the wearer from evil and nightmares.

Owing to the fact that they can be used for spiritual healing, Garnets have long been believed to assist with the treating of infectious diseases, blood poisoning and heart and lung disease.

 

Availability:
Tsavorite Garnet is a somewhat rare gemstone, with stones over five carats in size being especially rare. For this reason, Tsavorite Garnet gemstones of two carats or more are particularly coveted and surprisingly valuable, with per carat prices sometimes reaching as high as US$8,000 per carat. When considering affordable gemstones under two carats in size, even though Tsavorite Garnet is one of the most expensive of the Garnet varieties available, it is still in our opinion a gemstone that represents excellent value for money.

Sources:
There are known deposits of Tsavorite Garnet in Kenya, Pakistan, South Africa and Tanzania. Tanzania is considered to be the premium and most important origin for Tsavorite Garnet, and stones from this region generally display the most well-balanced balanced green colors, being neither too light, nor too dark.

Evaluation:
Tsavorite Garnet is rated at 7 – 7.5 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness, making it a durable gemstone. The hardness of this gem makes it ideally suited to all jewelry applications and resilient enough to be worn everyday.

Tsavorite Garnet is cherished for it's green coloration, and fantastic brilliance, equaling some of the better known, more expensive gemstones like Diamond, Sapphire and Ruby in this respect. When buying Tsavorite Garnet pay particular attention to color. Whilst Tsavorite Garnet is found in shades of green ranging from pale green, through mid-green, to vivid blue-green, the most desirable and sought-after stones are those that display a well-balanced emerald green color, without being overly dark or yellowish.

Clarity is another factor affecting price and due to the nature of Tsavorite Garnet, it should not prove too difficult to secure a stone that is at least eye-clean, as Tsavorite Garnet does not often contain heavy inclusions.

Lastly, it is important to only consider well-cut stones as this will ensure that the maximum amount of brilliance is displayed by the gem.

Common Cuts:
Tsavorite Garnets are cut according to the shape / cut that will influence the least amount of darkness in its color. Oval and Cushion are the most common cuts, closely followed by Round, which is then followed by the other recognized cut shapes / styles.

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