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Tsavorite Garnet - The Official New Zealand Guide

Tsavorite garnet is one of the world’s rarest and most striking gemstones.


It was discovered in 1968 by geologist Harry Campbell who also made the first discovery of Tanzanite and was named by Harry Platt the president of iconic Tiffany & Co.

tsavorite garnet gemstone new zealand
3.05ct Tsavorite Garnet

Tsavorite garnet is rarer and brighter than an emerald, and rating a sturdy 7.5 on the Mohs hardness scale outperforms an emerald on everyday durability. Emeralds can be brittle and typically dull in colour, whereas a Tsavorite garnet has a rich lustre and sparkle.


Tsavorite is only mined in eastern Africa, specifically Kenya and Tanzania. It was named after the Tsavo National Park in Kenya, close to the Tanzania border where it was first discovered.


As with all gemstones there are different qualities and grades of Tsavorite garnet, with less than 1% of Tsavorite that is mined considered exceptional. The finest Tsavorites have an intense green hue which is very, very vivid. Lower graders are less desaturated and yellowish. The finest gemstones have high clarity. Most tsavorites on the market contain many inclusions and due to the geology of the gemstone some inclusions are inevitable, but fine stones contain very few. These clean tsavorites are highly coveted and difficult to find. Top grade tsavorites are expected to be well cut to take advantage of their high refractive index, allowing them to reflect light very effectively and attain excellent brilliance.

Tsavorite garnet engagement ring
Tsavorite Garnet in a display ring

Tsavorite garnet is very seldom mined in sizes that can cut gemstones 2 carats or larger due to the harsh geology Tsavorite is formed under. Most Tsavorite crystals in a vein or a pocket will be half a carat or less. The larger gemstones are found in geodes or 'potatoes' as the miners call them, where they have had room to grow over 2 billion years! These grades are very rarely found by miners and crystals that can cut tsavorites of over 2cts or over are a rare occurrence in a miner’s life.


Garnet is the birthstone of January. Traditionally, we think of garnets as red in hue; however, Tsavorite garnet gives those born in January an exciting option for garnets in a different shade! For those wanting to create a piece of jewellery that reflects their birth month, The Sapphire Merchant can assist you in sourcing a Tsavorite garnet that is heirloom quality.


The Sapphire Merchant is proud to present to the New Zealand market this exceptional 3.05ct Tsavorite. This gemstone has strong green saturation and is eye and loupe clean. It has been shaped into a cushion cut to maximize the sparkle and brilliance of the gemstone. The Sapphire Merchant can also source other examples of high-quality Tsavorite Garnet; please enquire to discuss your options.

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