Red garnets the birthstone of January have a long history, we know this because remnants of garnet jewellery have been found dating as far back as the Bronze Age. Ancient Egyptians used garnet as inlays in their jewellery referring to it as the symbol of life..
Red garnets are the most common but the gemstone also come in greens, oranges, pinkish oranges, deeply saturated purplish reds and even some blues but these are extremely rare. A green garnet, tsavorite, is 100 times rarer than an Emerald.
Usually a vivid green colour with an amazing lustre Tsavorite is a truly beautiful gemstone.
Approximate 100 times more rare than emerald, tsavorite offers a more brilliant sparkle due to a higher refractive index as compared to emerald. Tsavorite measures in at 7-7.5 on the Mohs scale below diamond or sapphires
Tsavorite was first officially introduced by gemmologist Campbell Bridges in 1961. It is named Tsavorite after Tsavo National Park where is was discovered, one of Africa's largest nature reserves, located in Kenya.
Technically Tsavorite is a rare form of Garnet called Green Grossularia. It owes its colour to the presence of Vanadium and sometimes Chromium in its chemical composition. This is a common point with Emerald.
The higher the concentration of Vanadium the darker and more intense is its green colour and therefore the rarer, purer and more desirable is the stone. Its high refractoriness gives it a great lustre.
Among the other Tsavorite garnet properties, its great hardness stands out, although far below diamond or sapphires, it is enough to age perfectly in all types of settings making highly beautiful and durable pieces of jewellery.
In terms of clarity, Tsavorite is a type II gemstone in the GIA classification. It can have inclusions, although much less than other gemstones.