Color: emerald green
Moh's hardness: 6.5 - 7.5
Tsavorite, sometimes referred to as tsavolite ('-lite' is a Greek suffix for 'stone'), is a fairly young gemstone that belongs to the colorful garnet family. It was named by Tiffany & Co. in honor of Tanzania's Tsavo National Park where the gem was first discovered by British geologist Campbell Bridges in 1967. Another deposit was revealed a few years later in neighbouring Kenya. At this stage the newly found gem was only known to specialist but in 1974 it became world famous after a broad promotional campaign by Tiffany & Co.
What makes the tsavorite so desirable is its vivid, radiant green color and outstanding brilliance. The color range includes light green, intense blue-green and deep forest green. It is rare to find a cut tsavorite of more than two carats but due to its natural brilliance, the stone can display great luminosity even in small sizes.
Another positive characteristic is its robustness, approximately 7.5 on the Moh's scale of hardness. Tsavorite is less sensitive than an emerald and is not so likely to crack or splinter from the knocks and blows of everyday wear. It is often used in pave settings instead of emeralds, which are more fragile in these 'invisible settings'.
With its vibrant green, excellent wearing qualities, great brilliance and relatively reasonable prices, tsavorite makes for an ideal jewelry gemstone.