We know the emerald is the birthstone for May but, being one of the big 4 or top drawer precious stones, an emerald has a high price tag. But if green is your favourite colour and you have your heart set on a green gem don’t despair if your finances don’t stretch to an emerald because green gems are more prolific than any other colour with more than forty that are suitable for jewellery.
They include green sapphire, green diamond, green spinel, green zircon, green garnet, green opal, peridot, and my favourites: Tsavorite, Russian Chrome Diopside, and a particular green tourmaline, the Parabia Tourmaline.
Often, as in the case of the alexandrite, a gem is named to celebrate an important event or, as a sign of respect for an particular person – the morganite – while at other times the gem’s name comes from the actual place of its discovery. The beautiful green gem Tsavorite falls into the latter category, for it was named after the Tsavo National Park that lies on the border of Tanzania and Kenya where it was first discovered in 1967 by Campbell R. Bridges, a Scottish geologist. Mining operations, however, didn’t begin until 1974 and during that year Tsavorite, so named by Bridges and the then president of Tiffany & Co, was introduced it to the world.
Tsavorite belongs to the garnet family of gems that, unlike many other stones, are untreated meaning the colours, ranging from a bright yellowish green to a deep, grassy or emerald green, and even a slightly bluish-green shade, are fresh, crisp, striking, completely real, and highly prized. The best colours, though, are an intense, vibrant green or emerald green and that explains why a tsavorite is often mistaken for an emerald or used in place of an emerald as the birthstone for May.
Tsavorite is also more durable and with fewer inclusions than the emerald and many other gems and in smaller sizes,Tsavorite is creating competition for the emerald not just because of its lower cost – about one quarter the cost of an emerald – but also because of its greater transparency, glowing brilliance and sparkle due to its high refraction index. All of these attributes therefore explain why the Tsavorite is often referred to as the Green Fire Garnet. Mere words, however, or even pictures, cannot adequately describe this beautiful green gem, that is both elegant and sophisticated and a worthy substitute for an emerald, so I suggest you see Monika or Joe at LL Private Jewellers and see them for yourself.
For more information about tsavorite please contact LL Private Jewellers at 604-683-3918.