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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Grossular (var. tsavorite)

Marquise-shaped step-cut medium-to-dark green grossular (var. garnet (tsavorite)) (7.08 ct) in a ring with 16 small round diamonds, set in yellow gold.
Photo by Ken Larsen. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G8878-00
Locality Kenya/Tanzania
Weight 7.08 ct

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Marshall Greenman in 1981.

This 7.08-carat tsavorite garnet is set in an 18k yellow gold ring surrounded by 16 round brilliant cut diamonds. The tsavorite is a beautiful slightly yellowish-green color and is an unusual marquise cut gem. One of the rarest and most prized garnets today is this brilliant green variety of grossular garnet called tsavorite. The most desirable tsavorites are an intense green to blue-green and can sometimes be confused with emerald. Tsavorite is a totally natural gemstone. It is not heated, oiled, filled, irradiated, or treated in any way. Tsavorite was first discovered in 1967 in northern Tanzania and again in 1970 in Kenya’s Tsavo National Park by world renowned geologist, Campbell Bridges. In 1971, Mr. Bridges was granted a permit to mine the Kenyan deposit. In 1973, this variety of green garnet was named tsavorite in honor of Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, by Henry B. Platt, former President of Tiffany & Co., and Campbell Bridges, founder of Tsavorite USA. Tiffany launched a marketing campaign in 1974 that brought recognition to the beautiful green gem. Still today, this region on the Kenya-Tanzania border remains the only source of gem tsavorite. This tsavorite ring was donated to the Smithsonian in 1981 by Dr. and Mrs. Marshall Greenman and is on display at the National Museum of Natural History.


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