Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


Department of Mineral Sciences

Carmen Lúcia Ruby

New Acquisitions - Grossular, Garnet (variety: Tsavorite)

Grossular Garnet
Photography by Ken Larsen. Gift of Campbell Bridges, 2009.

Tsavorite is a highly prized gem variety of grossular garnet. It was first discovered by Campbell Bridges in 1967 near Kenya’s Tsavo National Park. This region on the Kenya-Tanzania border remains the only source of gem tsavorite. The most valuable tsavorites are an intense green to blue-green and can sometimes be confused with emerald; a yellowish overtone is less desirable. This tsavorite is cut en cabochon. The inclusions in this gem appear to be corrosion tubes that were replaced with iron oxide, hence the rust colored tube-like inclusions. Tsavorite is a totally natural gemstone. It is not heated, oiled, filled, irradiated, or treated in any way. This variety of green garnet was named tsavorite in honor of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, by Henry B. (Harry) Platt, former President of Tiffany & Co., and Campbell Bridges, President of Tsavorite USA.

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