Tsavorite, a magnificent alternative to emerald

Tsavorite is a recently discovered gemstone (1974) in Kenya and Tanzania. Its name comes from the site of its first extraction in Tsavo National Park in Kenya.

This very strong green gem belongs to the garnet family. The latter has been known for centuries. Because of their red color, garnets have often been used to replace rubies. For example, the crown of King Louis XIV of France was set with red garnets when the rubies, replaced, had been pawned. 

Nowadays, the tsavorite with its bright green replaces the emeralds advantageously, its hue being almost identical.
One advantage of tsavorite is its higher resistance than that of emeralds, very fragile, when they have a lot of inclusions. Tsavorite supports cuts that emerald does not allow, such as marquise cut or pear-shaped cut as in the illustration.

The second advantage is its price. Although its success since the 2000s makes this stone a top-class gem its price remains lower than the price of beautiful emeralds.

Crystallo-chemical composition: Aluminum silicate and calcium, Ca3Al2[SiO4]3

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