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January Birthstone

Tsavorite is one of two green varieties of garnet, though arguably the more important of the two. Especially in smaller sizes, tsavorite creates competition for emerald because it is less included, rarely treated and more durable. Like some emerald and green tourmaline, tsavorite garnet owes its green hues to the presence of vanadium and chromium. First discovered in Tanzania in 1967 and a few years later in Kenya, tsavorite's name pays homage to the nearby Tsavo National Park.

Tsavorite Polished
Tsavorite Classification
Common Name Tsavorite
Species Garnet
Tsavorite Optical Properties
Transparency Transparent - Semitransparent
Dispersion Strength: Moderate Fire Value: 0.028
Refractive Index 1.740-1.740
Optic Character NA
Optic Sign NA
Polariscope Reaction Singly Refractive (SR) With ADR
Fluorescence SWUV: inert to weak yellow-orange
LWUV: Inert to weak orange or yellow orange
CCF Reaction Some stones may appear pink or red
Pleochroism None
Tsavorite Characteristic Physical Properties
Hardness 7-7.5
Streak None
Specific Gravity 3.570-3.730 Range:0.12/-0.04 Typical:3.610
Toughness Good
Inclusions Tsavorite garnet is a Type II clarity stone. Stones will sometimes have feathers, fingerprint inclusions, needles, asbestos fibers and small graphite platelets.
Luster Vitreous, Greasy
Stability Good
Fracture Conchoidal, Uneven, Irregular
Cleavage None
Tsavorite Chemistry & Crystallography
Chemical Name calcium aluminum silicate
Chemical Formula Ca3Al2(SiO4)3
Crystal System Cubic
Chemistry Classification Silicate

Tsavorite Colors

  • Green Tsavorite Green
  • Green Tsavorite Green
  • Green Tsavorite Green
  • Green Tsavorite Green

Countries of Origin

Tanzania, United Republic Of; Afghanistan; Mozambique; Unknown; Russian Federation (the); Brazil; Madagascar; Kenya; Thailand; India


Tsavorite is one of the least-known and most under-valued of all gemstones. Its color rests at the pinnacle of the greens. What makes tsavorite so desirable? Combine that lush green color with exceptional clarity, stir in a hardness that makes it ultra-wearable and then add the indefinable... that certain something that seems to burn within the stone. It's a golden-green light, an icy-green fire that draws you. January babies, what a birthstone! Tsavorite will make your friends green with envy. As we said, be ready to be mesmerized...


Clean your tsavorite in warm, sudsy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Avoid harsh chemicals as well as ultrasonic and steam cleaners.

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Tim Matthews


Tim Matthews

Tim Matthews is President and Chief Executive Officer of Jewelry Television® (JTV), as well as a member of the company's Board of Directors. He oversees and leads all aspects of the company's powerful omni-digital retail platform that uniquely specializes in fine jewelry and gemstones. His passion for business and gemstones has led him to become a recognized expert in the field of gemology. He is a life member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and has earned Gem-A's highest degrees, the Gemmology (FGA) and Diamond (DGA) diplomas. He is also a Graduate Gemologist (GG) of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and has also completed GIA's Graduate Diplomas in Diamonds, Colored Stones and Pearls. Under his leadership, JTV has become the leader in the sourcing and selling of color gemstones and jewelry.

This page was created on June 27, 2014.

This page was last edited on October 24, 2019.