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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Grossular (var. tsavorite)

Photograph of a tsavorite necklace (NMNH G9000) from the National Gem Collection
Photo by Chip Clark. Click to zoom.
Catalog Number NMNH G9000-00
Locality Kenya/Tanzania
Weight 30.79 ct

Gift of Dr. Bray O. Hawk in 1981.

The yellow gold necklace is set with 14 pear-shaped faceted tsavorite garnets. They have a total weight of 30.79 carats and are a beautiful medium yellowish-green color. The tsavorites graduate in size and are very well-matched. One of the rarest and most prized garnets in jewelry 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. The color is due to the presence of vanadium. 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.



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