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Sell With a Story: All Things Green

Is it really March already? The calendar says so, and that can only mean we Northern Hemisphere dwellers will soon be welcoming in spring and packing up our winter wardrobes. But March means more than just spring — it also means St. Patrick’s Day is on the way!

Wednesday, March 17, marks this year’s celebration, and we’ve got just what you need to invite good fortune AND to wear something green to protect yourself from being unwittingly pinched.

The Luck of the Irish

To kick off your social-distanced St. Patrick’s Day celebrations, we’re highlighting five gemstones that will have you and your customers green with envy. We suggest getting your hands on these gems as soon as possible so that you can enjoy the luck of the Irish all March long.

1. Fancy Green Moissanite

Just in time for St. Patrick’s Day, our gemstone team is THRILLED to introduce a most fitting gem: fancy green Stuller Lab-Created Moissanite™ (in addition to four other new fancy colors).

Offering both a lush green hue with the intense sparkle that is Moissanite’s claim to fame, our green Lab-Created Moissanite is perfect for any green aficionado. Share these cool facts about Moissanite to let them know you’re their gemstone expert for any need:

  • This stone was discovered in an Arizona meteorite crater, but all Moissanite used in jewelry today is created in a lab
  • Ranking at 9.25 on the Mohs Scale, Moissanite is harder than ruby and sapphire — and strong enough for daily wear in engagement rings, fashion styles, and body jewelry alike
  • Moissanite has more than twice as much sparkle as diamonds due to its unique refractive properties
  • Scientifically known as silicon carbide, Moissanite is used in computer motherboards
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Stay tuned for next month’s Sell With a Story, where we’ll do a deep dive into everything about Lab-Created Moissanite: its history, our two brands, Stuller’s five fancy colors, and even a new video showcasing why Moissanite is so marvelous.

In the meantime, you can shop our colored Lab-Created Moissanite here or learn more about the benefits of this wonderful gem.

2. Emerald

Ranging in hue from a warm yellow-green to a cool blue-green, it’s no surprise we embrace emerald for those born in May, the height of spring. As one of the Big Three gemstones, emerald has endured in popularity for centuries, being THE go-to gemstone for all things green.

Of course, there’s a variety of green gems available today, but for customers who want the traditional green gem, emerald is the only choice. Just be sure to treat it with care since these gems can be finicky and fragile to work with.

  • The name emerald finds its root in the Sanskrit word marakata, meaning the green of growing things
  • Due to its lush, rolling countryside, Ireland is famously known as the Emerald Isle
  • Emeralds and emerald jewelry are the gifts for the 35th wedding anniversary
  • The world’s largest emerald is a privately owned 7,052-carat uncut crystal from Colombia
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Take a deep dive into the verdant beauty and history of emerald at Sell With a Story: Emerald Gemstones, or find your perfect stone in our calibrated assortment or Notable Gems®.

3. Demantoid Garnet

Garnet comes in a wide range of richly hued shades that are both reasonably priced and readily available. But as with all stones, there are select types that are superstars. In garnet, that standout superstar stone is the Demantoid variety.

Getting its eye-popping color from trace amounts of chromium and ferric iron, this lime-green gem has one thing that makes it outshine the rest of the garnet family: Demantoid garnet has incredible fire dispersion — more so than diamonds!

  • Demantoid, meaning diamond-like, comes from the old German word demant
  • The highest quality gems come from Russia’s Ural Mountains, where it was discovered in 1853
  • Faceted stones above two carats are rare, and most are under one carat
  • Some have beautiful, unique golden horsetail inclusions — which make them even more valuable
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You can find Demantoid garnet in Stuller Notable Gems®.

4. Tsavorite Garnet

Meet the other green giant of the garnet family: Tsavorite. This vivid grass-green gemstone gets its color from the element vanadium, although some Tsavorite garnets contain other elements that give their exceptional color a whisper of blue.

Tsavorite has a long, rich history that starts with its 1961 discovery — which you can read all about in our in-depth analysis at Sell With a Story: Tsavorite Garnet.

  • Tsavorite is an excellent, more durable birthstone option for May babies who shy away from their traditional emerald
  • Tsavorite’s name comes from Kenya’s Tsavo National Park
  • The finest quality Tsavorite hails from a deposit in Kenya’s Kuranze region
  • Most Tsavorite is natural and untreated, so the stone you receive looks exactly how it came out of the ground, offering the raw beauty of Mother Nature to customers
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We offer calibrated Tsavorite garnet in a variety of shapes, sizes, and vibrant color qualities as well as in our Notable Gems® collection.

5. Peridot

Also called the Evening Emerald, peridot is a radiant green with a hint of gold. This lush hue embodies true splendor and growth. While best known as the birthstone for August babies, anyone can enjoy peridot’s unique shade — and indeed, people are enjoying it, as peridot has been trending in a huge way recently.

If you have a customer who loves peridot for what it is, let them know that birthstones aren’t limited only to those born in a specific month. Anyone can enjoy this lovely bright green, perfect for both a spring celebration of St. Patrick’s Day and for sweltering summer days spent poolside.

  • Peridot is the gift for the 16th wedding anniversary
  • Why pear-a-doe and not pear-a-dot? Peridot was first mined in the town of Peridot, Arizona
  • Peridot is one of few gemstones that appears in exactly one color: a perfect pistachio panache
  • The oldest peridot gemstones came to Earth in a meteorite, and they’re 4.5 billion years old — a far cry from the meager millions of years of Earth-forged Peridot
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Check out Sell With a Story: Peridot Gemstones to learn more, or stock up in our calibrated collection.

More Things Green

Are you feeling the luck of the Irish (or perhaps even envy) yet? If not, check out these previous Sell With a Story blogs about some lesser-known green gemstones:


Many Needs, One Source: Stuller Gemstones™

Whether you need to shop gemstones by color, find a perfect match, or have a team of gemstone experts embark on a worldwide treasure hunt to find a very specific gemstone, Stuller has you covered.

With more than one million gemstones in our inventory and our next-day delivery on all in-stock products, we can get you what you need, when you need it — with the spectacular customer service for which we’re known.

Not sure where to get started?

Check out Stuller Gemstones™ today!




Sell With a Story: Red, White, and Blue Stones

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There are few color combinations as iconic to the United States of America as red, white, and blue. Creating a color collection as classic as little pinwheels this time of year is super easy with many gemstone options in a plethora of shades encompassing red, white, and blue.

Below we break down four variations to add a little interest to your cases.

Iconic with a Twist – Red Spinel, Moissanite, Tanzanite

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When you think of marketed colored gemstones, Spinel is a relative newcomer to the scene. Having been around for many centuries, but consistently overlooked; the bright, crisp colors are starting to find a new cult following. The ‘Black Prince’s Ruby’ aka a gorgeous Red Spinel currently housed in the British Crown Jewels, is a prime example of the stunning red color available from Spinel. Partner that with a clean, classic, sparkly Moissanite and the deep blue-violet you get from Tanzanite and you have yourself an iconic display with a twist. Remember, the color draws customers in but the story, those little details that set your store apart, closes the sale!

Eclectic & Unusual – Red Zircon, Opal, Lapis

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Maybe you are looking for something just a little different or something that stops your customers in their collective tracks to bend down and look a little closer. Red Zircon with its powerful sparkle will do just that (who says diamonds get to have all the fun?). Partnered with the ever-loved Opals and the bold blue of Lapis, you have yourself a lovely blend of patriotic colors that will surprise and delight. The little gold flecks that dot Lapis work well with the earthy tones of Red Zircon and the play of color you get with Opal partner well with everything (because who does not love Opal!?). This eclectic combination helps customers see color in ways that they perhaps have not seen before, opening the imagination for unusual pairings.

Downright Playful – Garnets, Moonstones, Chalcedony

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For those of you with a boutique wanting to play with the summery trends, look no farther than cabochon cut stones. With an eye toward curves, brilliant Garnets, ethereal Moonstones, and the ever-graceful Chalcedony (pronounced: cal said knee) make for a gleaming collection of nationalistic colors. And added bonus with these beauties, they have known origins making them right on trend for those sustainable, ethical customers. And since the same group usually wants something unique but still Instagram worthy, cabochon cut stones in reds, whites, and blues are sure to be a home run, with colorful little bubbles gleaming on their phones.

Luxury, all the way – Ruby, Diamonds and Blue Sapphires

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…the bigger the better. Encompassing three of the four ‘majors’ stones, sorry Emerald no green in this pride, Ruby, Diamond, and Blue Sapphire are sure to leave your customers feeling patriotic and proud. Ruby has such a rich tone and when partnered with the smooth blue of Sapphires you have a winning combination. Add Diamonds to the mix and you get a pop of sparkle comparable to fireworks– the best of all worlds. If you are feeling ever so adventurous and in the luxury market, add a blue Diamond to the mix. Simply irresistible and an always appreciated solution Ruby, Diamond, and Blue Sapphire can be found in all shapes, sizes, and budgets.

Call our gemstone specialists and they will share all the fabulous red, white, and blue options that can be paired together for a beautiful 4th of July showcase display and celebration. Happy and safe Independence Day to you and yours!


What’s your favorite red, white, or blue stone? Let us know in the comments below!




Sell With a Story: Tsavorite, Demantoid, and Mint Green Garnet

What do pomegranates have to do with garnets? Garnet’s name comes from the Latin word granatum, meaning “pomegranate.” More specifically, garnet refers to the vibrant red seeds of the pomegranate fruit — but while Rhodolite and Mozambique garnet may be the most widely known shades, garnet actually comes in a rainbow of colors. As it turns out, January’s birthstone is quite versatile, having a shade for each Capricorn and early-bird Aquarian.

This Sell with a Story, we’re focusing on three varieties that will have you and your customers green with envy: tsavorite, demantoid, and mint green garnet.

Tsavorite Garnet

Tsavorite comes in vibrant green hues, with some individual gems even rivaling emerald. For this reason, it is considered an alternate birthstone for May.

tsavorite garnet

Most tsavorite gets its color from vanadium. But a deposit in Kenya’s Kuranze area yields tsavorite with chromium, giving them exceptional color with hints of blue.

Tsavorite has a long, rich history since its 1961 discovery. Visit Sell with a Story: Tsavorite Garnet for the in-depth analysis.

 

 

Demantoid Garnet

Demantoid garnet is among the rarest garnet varieties. Renowned for its rich hue, demantoid garnet ranges from lush, vivid green to a striking yellow green that’s reminiscent of peridot.

demantoid garnetThe finest of these gems come from three mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains. Demantoid Garnet has been found in other countries — Namibia and Madagascar — but the gems from Russia are the finest. Remarkably, demantoid garnet boasts a higher dispersion rate than diamond.

 

 

Mint Green Garnet

Mint grossular garnet is also known as mint garnet and, sometimes, Merelani mint garnet — named for being discovered in Tanzania’s Merelani Hills.

mint green garnetThis gem has a refreshing, pastel green color that hides a shocking secret: when exposed to ultraviolet light, it transforms from green to fluorescent pink and orange! This is thanks to the trace amount of chromium locked away in mint garnet’s molecular structure.

 

 

How to Care for Garnet Jewelry

  • Garnet is rated “good” for everyday wear.
  • Avoid exposure to heat and sudden changes in temperature.
  • To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water or clean in an at-home ultrasonic unit.
  • Never use a steamer to clean garnet jewelry.

The green garnet varieties are prized as gemstones of creativity, positive energy, self-confidence, and success. Who wouldn’t want a piece of garnet jewelry?


 

Shop garnet gemstones on Stuller.com.




5 Instagram-Worthy Fall Gemstones to Share this Season

Winter is coming. In fact, it’s already visiting much of the country. But autumn is lingering with harvest hues all around and Thanksgiving just around the corner. In nature, fashion, and even food, this time of year has its own special color palette, and Earth provides gemstones to match.

Warm Citrine Gemstones

Winter Gemstones Citrine Gems

Affordable and fashionable, Citrine’s warm honey-colored hues remind us of things we love about this time of year: a crackling fire, autumn leaves, pumpkin pie! These cozy images lend a cozy feeling to Citrine jewelry, making it a perfect color to wear with fall fashions.

Fans of the PBS series, Victoria, will be pleased to learn that Citrine grew in popularity due to Queen Victoria’s love for the native Scottish stone after she and her husband, Prince Albert, had their beloved summer home built near Balmoral Castle in the 1850s. Because Victoria loved Citrine’s golden hues, the stone became popular for Highland brooches, kilt pins, and sword handles. With the popularity of shows like Victoria, The Crown, and Outlander today, sunny Citrine is poised for a comeback. And who couldn’t use a little extra sunshine as winter approaches?

London Blue Topaz Gemstones

Winter Gemstones London Blue Topaz Gems

While we’re reveling in the sunny delights of autumn, let’s not forget the clear blue skies so frequent this time of year. A Blue Topaz colored sky is one of autumn’s greatest features, but this year-round color carries us through snowy winter and cheerful spring days to aquatic ocean blues in summer. This crisp blue gemstone is bright and energetic, bringing a breath of fresh air to contemporary jewelry designs all year long. Blue Topaz gems can easily fall into the bold or pastel category, making them perfect for pairing with just about any other gem.

Rosy Garnet Gemstones

Winter Gemstones Garnet Gems

Another one of autumn’s classic colors, juicy reddish Rhodolite Garnet brings to mind this season’s grapes and wine, apples, and even cranberry sauce. And like a fine wine, Rhodolite’s moody cabernet color, with hints of purple or pink, pairs just as well with jeans and snuggly sweaters as formal holiday attire.

Rhodolite Garnet gets its name from the pink blooms of the mountain rhododendron, which grows in the Appalachian mountains of North Carolina, where it was first discovered.

Smoky Quartz Gemstones

Winter Gemstones Smoky Quartz Gems

How can you not think of a cozy fire when you think of Smoky Quartz? The word “smoke” is right there in the name, after all. Both its color and its name bring to mind all sorts of other fall favorites, like toasting marshmallows, firewood, and even chestnuts roasting you-know-where.

The less adventurous way of describing a Smoky Quartz gem is simply “brown.” But there’s so much richness and elegance in these stones, brown just doesn’t suffice. Smoky Quartz is beautiful paired with pink, blue, or yellow gemstones. How gorgeous would a big Smoky Quartz center stone be flanked by peachy-pink Morganite this time of year? Or any time of year, really.

Green Tourmaline Gemstones

Winter Gemstones Tourmaline Gems

Not all leaves turn into fall colors this time of year, and one glance across a mountain or field will undoubtedly show you a patch of evergreens. They’re the same throughout every day of every year, and their constant, steady color has become synonymous with things that last. This timeless color is perfectly displayed in a gemstone like Green Tourmaline. This timeless green is as popular with male buyers as women, arguably doubling its value in your display case.

Especially since green is commonly affiliated with eco-friendly products, we see green gems such as Green Tourmaline being used by designers and sought after by fashion-forward consumers. Its rich olive-green hue provides a stunning year-round fashion accessory.


 




Explore These 6 Gemstone Selections for Colorful Engagement Rings

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As more couples select gemstone centers, they reflect the current trend to individualize their rings. Choices can be based on the bride’s or groom’s birthstone, her favorite colored gemstone, or a gemstone that holds particular meaning. Offer these popular gemstones as alternatives to the traditional diamond engagement ring.

 

Here are our top gemstone selections for colorful engagement rings.

Ruby Gemstone Engagement Rings

For thousands of years, royalty and the wealthy have coveted Ruby. Its mesmerizing hue inspires passion, love, courage, and devotion which makes it ideal. What better choice for a bride?

Alternate Gemstones:

Bridal with Pink Tourmaline Gemstones

Pink Tourmaline is believed to enhance awareness, love, and compassion — all valuable qualities for marriage and life.

Alternate Gemstones:

Aquamarine Bridal Gemstone Center Stones

Named for the waters of Antiquity, Aquamarine exerts a powerful allure. Like a clear sky on a summer day, its pale blue hue promotes calm, enhances spirituality, and stimulates mental clarity. This gem appeals to many couples.

Alternate Gemstones:

Morganite Gemstone Bridal Center Stones

This gorgeous pale pink to peachy pink beryl attracts many brides-to-be. In smaller sizes, morganite is delicate and feminine. In larger sizes, it has a richly hued, sophistication. It stimulates calm, brings wisdom, and adds purpose to our lives.

Alternate Gemstones:

Blue Sapphire Gemstone Engagement Rings

Sapphire’s breathtaking blues have captured our imagination and inspired designs. Ancient lore tells us that blue sapphire inspires faithfulness, fidelity, inner peace, wisdom, and insight — all of which make it a bridal favorite.

Alternate Gemstones:

Emerald Gemstone Engagement Center Stones

The name Emerald comes from the Sanskrit word, marakata, meaning “the green of growing.” This gorgeous gem symbolizes vitality, honesty, and fidelity making it the perfect choice for marriage.

Alternate Gemstones:

 

Don’t Forget About Gemstone Care

Remind your customers to be gentle with gemstones. Avoid exposure to heat, contact with chemicals, and exposure to harsh blows. To clean, gently scrub with a soft toothbrush and a solution of mild dish soap and warm water. You can use an ultrasonic cleaner for Ruby and Sapphire.


How do you feel about these gemstone selections for colorful engagement rings? Let us know in the comments below!




Sell With a Story: Garnet Gemstones

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Romancing the Stone

Try to imagine a world without stories. You can’t? Join the club. Stories shape everything we experience, learn and imagine. We love to hear them and share them. Stories tap into emotion and help build relationships. Good stories are re-told many times.

This makes storytelling a powerful sales tool — especially with gemstones that have such rich and colorful pasts. Throughout history, people have schemed to get them. Endured great hardship to find them. Used them to bribe. Killed to claim them and married to receive them. Repaid debts with them. And many famous gemstones were gifts of love, alliance, and extravagance.

Some gems came to people from the gods. All have been the subject of ancient lore — many imbued with magical or mystical properties that resonate to this day. When a customer is attracted to a particular stone or shade of that stone, there’s usually a story behind it. Let them tell you that story then share your own stories about the gem.

Sharing stories with customers helps you make an emotional connection and build trust, so essential to closing the sale and creating long-term customers. As an add-on, the chances are good that when customers show the jewelry to friends, they’ll share their stories and mention your name.

Each month, we’ll highlight stories related to that month’s birthstone. Read them for fun, for interest and to share with your customers.

Garnet Sell with a Story Gemstones

Shop garnet gemstone on Stuller.com

Beguiling Garnet Gemstones

Imagine sitting by a fire on a cold January evening. As you snuggle into a fluffy throw, you glance at your hand letting your eyes linger on the warm radiance of a stunning garnet ring in 18K yellow gold. Could you have chosen a more perfect piece of jewelry? Only if you’re also wearing a garnet necklace and earrings. Let’s face it: garnet goes with January whether it’s your birthday month or not.

A Quick Look Back

We have a garnet bead necklace found in an Egyptian tomb that dates back to 3,000 BCE. In ancient Greece, Plato had his portrait carved on garnet, and the ancient Romans used garnet to carve signet rings. And by the time of Pliny (23 to 79 CE), it had become one of the most widely traded gems.

In Roman times . . .

What do pomegranates have to do with garnets? More than you might think. Garnet’s name comes from the Latin word granatum meaning “pomegranate.” More specifically, garnet refers to the vibrant red seeds of the pomegranate.

Hue’s Next?

Though the name “garnet” embodies the stone’s predominant shade, over the centuries, we’ve learned that garnet refers to a group of silicate minerals of different colors. In addition to orangey red Almandine and pinkish red Pyrope, I’m fascinated by Spessartite, a reddish orange, and Tsavorite, a vibrant green garnet, named after Tsavo National Park in Kenya near where it was discovered.

Oh yes, and one more

The rarest of all garnets is the brilliant highly-saturated green Demantoid or Andradite. The finest of these gems come from three mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains. This remarkable gem boasts a higher dispersion rate than diamond. Demantoid Garnet has been found in other countries — Namibia and Madagascar — but the gems from Russia are by far and away the finest. Their price is similarly steep which means they remain the domain of gem investors.

Garnet Gemstones from the rough

Garnet Gemstones from the rough

Yellow takes garnet up a notch

Any shade garnet looks beautiful in white gold or platinum. But to achieve the spectacular, set them in yellow gold, preferably 18K.

Mozambique or Rhodolite?

When selecting garnets on Stuller.com, you can see that Mozambique garnet has the warm “blood red” shade that most people associate with garnet, while Rhodolite has a luxurious raspberry hue. Both combine almandine and pyrope in different ratios. Mozambique has a 1:1 proportion of almandine and pyrope. Rhodolite is 1:2 ratio with two parts of pyrope — a pinker gem. Our garnet is mined in East Africa, India, and Sri Lanka and is available in a full range of shapes.

Irresistible Garnet Gemstones

With garnet supplies plentiful, prices are reasonable, and garnet’s brilliance makes it appear more expensive than it is. There are no known treatments for garnets.

Biblical Garnet

In the Jewish Talmud, a ‘Midrash’ (story) about the “Great Flood” records that a radiant red garnet safely steered Noah’s Ark through the thunderous storms and endless rain. And it is believed that Garnet is one of the stones God gave King Solomon.

Protection and Healing

Centuries of explorers and travelers carried it for protection on journeys far from home and crusaders set garnets in their shields, armor, and buckles believing its protection would stop bleeding. Throughout North, Central, and South America, native tribes wore it to ward off evil influences and spirits.

True love

Today, as in the past, Garnet is most prized as the stone of romantic love and passion reflecting creativity, positive energy, self-confidence, and success. What woman wouldn’t want a piece of garnet jewelry?

Caring for Garnet Gemstones

  • It measures 6.5-7.5 on the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, making it durable and resistant to everyday wear.
  • Clean Garnet using warm, soapy water and a soft brush. You can clean most Garnets in an ultrasonic but not all of them, so use it with caution.
  • Keep Garnet away from eroding chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid and avoid drastic temperature changes that may fracture the gem.

SWAS Garnet Gemstones Group Shot

Shop more garnet gemstones on Stuller.com

 




Sell With a Story: Tsavorite Garnet

Garnet comes in many colors — beautiful, richly hued, readily available, and, for the most part, reasonably priced. But we have a couple of exceptions, rare members of this family that command particular attention. Tsavorite is one example.

Thank goodness for the buffalo

In 1961, Scottish geologist Campbell Bridges was working in what is now Zimbabwe. He noticed unusual combinations in rocks near his camp and decided to explore their gemstone potential. One day while investigating the area, he made his way up a gully only to find “an old rogue buffalo” — his words — ready to charge. He dove back down the ravine remaining there until the threat wandered off. It was there on the gully walls he first saw spotted “small bright green crystals,” though not of gem quality.

Fast forward

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A highly magnified gem quality crystal from Tanzania

In 1967, he again laid eyes on the green crystals and this time, he found them in Tanzania near its border with Kenya. The crystals were remarkable for their intense color and high transparency. He gathered some for further investigation. And so tsavorite emerged from many millions of years in hiding.

What is it?

Gemological examination identified the specimens as green grossular or green garnet. This garnet was unusual for its richly saturated green color and, as time revealed, its rarity. To this day, gem quality tsavorite is found principally in northeastern Tanzania, southeastern Kenyan and two locations in Madagascar.

A place and a name

Sometime in 1968, Bridges contacted Henry B. Platt, president of Tiffany’s and told him about the green garnet discovery. Platt shared Bridges’ enthusiasm, and when Bridges could provide a steady supply from Scorpion Mine, Platt wanted Tiffany’s to introduce it to the U.S. market but they needed a name. Platt decided on Tsavorite after Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, not far from the site of Scorpion Mine.

What else do we know?

Tsavorite comes in vibrant green hues with some rivaling emerald. For this reason, it is considered an alternate birthstone for May. So how does tsavorite compare to emerald? Quite favorably. Though the range of colors and Mohs scale ratings are similar, there are striking differences. Tsavorite —

  • Is more durable than emerald and better for daily wear.
  • Has a higher refractive index than emerald: 1.74 to 1.58, and higher dispersion rate of 0.28 to 0.14 giving it more fire and brilliance than emerald.
  • Has greater clarity than emerald.
  • Has no treatments, enhancements or synthetics.
  • Up to 3 carats, costs less than emerald.

Kuranze

Most tsavorite gets its color from vanadium. But a deposit in Kenya’s Kuranze area yields tsavorite with chromium giving them exceptional color with hints of blue. The mine produces few stones, most of them small, but they are considered the finest quality. Naturall they’re called Kuranze tsavorite.

Is there a mint green tsavorite?

In a word, no. Some people call them tsavorite, but the name refers to the vivid greens. Mint green is mint garnet or mint green grossular.

Colorful Bridges

A legend in the gemstone world until his death in August 2009, Campbell Bridges led a colorful life.tsavorite-gems

  • After his 1967 discovery of tsavorite, he began mining in Tanzania. Shortly after, the government embraced socialism and nationalized the mines.
  • He followed the geological formation north of the Kenyan border and once again mined tsavorite. Life in Kenya was . . . Let’s say “unusual.”
  • He named the Kenyan mine Scorpion Mine in recognition of the many 8′ scorpions that infested the area.
  • Other challenges included swarming army ants that devoured all in their path, blood-sucking tsetse flies, and lions.
  • He kept these perils at bay by living in a tree house 25’ off the ground. He said that it was “cooler up there, and the view was magnificent.”
  • He used a python or cobra to guard his gems.
  • When away from his tree house for long, one or two of the area’s leopards would drag their kill up there to feast. On Bridges return, the offended leopard would circle the tree growling angrily, scratching his claws on the bark.

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Tsavorite rough from Kenya shows the many fractures

Sadly, Bridges’ death proved as tragic as his life was remarkable. On August 11, 2009, an angry mob killed him over disputed access to his mine or property. The details are unclear. At the 2010 AGTA Tucson GemFair, the International Colored Gemstone Association, American Gemstone Trade Association, and Gemological Institute of America paid tribute to Bridges, an industry icon, and active contributor for many years.

Now that’s intense

Tsavorite weighing more than several carats is rare. The gems formed when tectonic plates collided. The pressure and heat were so intense that most were fractured at this time, emerging as small and even tiny pieces.

We offer calibrated tsavorite in sizes up to 5mm round and 7x5mm oval. Sizes greater than several carats are rare and costly. However, our special order department can find them.

Dazzling exceptions7-carat-cushion-tsavorite

The Smithsonian has two prized tsavorites. One is a 15.93 carat pear-shaped tsavorite. The other is a 7 carat cushion tsavorite (pictured).

Then something extraordinary happened

In early 2006, miners found a large extremely clean mint green grossular. When cut, it yielded a 120.68 carat gem. Shortly after and not far away, they found the largest known gem-quality tsavorite crystal, weighing 925 carats. It was cut into a spectacular 325 carat tsavorite (shown) and displayed at the 2007 Tucson Gem Show. How much is it worth? I couldn’t begin to imagine.

A powerful adornment

Tsavorite hasn’t had enough time to accumulate many unique powers nevertheless it has acquired some. And it shares the powers belonging to all garnet. Here’s the scoop.

Tsavorite—

325-carat-tsavorite

325 carat tsavorite

  • Protects all travelers
  • Encourages love and compassion
  • Helps build self-confidence
  • Imparts strength, vitality, and optimism
  • Aids in decision-making
  • Helps calm emotions
  • Supports the immune and respiratory systems
  • Boosts the metabolism (strength and vitality)
  • Detoxifies the wearer’s body

So go ahead and start sharing tsavorite’s story. You’ll find many rapt listeners and buyers.

With help from Stuller customer Jack Russell, Graduate GIA Gemologist and Owner of Newport Jewelers, Newport, TN