Are You Tsavorite Savvy?

It seems fitting to greet the New Year with a post on January’s birthstone—garnet—and to focus on tsavorite in particular, especially since we now know that Greenery is Pantone’s Color of 2017.

Increased demand for the luminous green gem overseas has caused its price to skyrocket in recent years, increasing its rarity and value. So get ready—2017 might be the year consumers see a tsavorite’s brilliant flash of bottle-green through a display window and, like Gatsby stalking the elusive green light across the bay, become hopelessly, utterly hooked. Dormant collectors of the stone may suddenly emerge from the shadows, willing to pay top dollar. Certain “emerald girls” may be tempted to go garnet for the first time ever.

So now’s the perfect time to root around in your vault for any loose tsavorite you might have kicking around and get started creating some new pieces for sale. And if you’re a designer with plans to attend the winter trade shows, having one or two tsavorite-centric pieces among your wares is a smart way to engage and capture the attention of the press as well as retailers seeking fresh, on-trend perspectives.

It’s also a good time to brush up on your tsavorite savvy. Here are a few tidbits to layer into conversations (and sales pitches) with the uninitiated:

· Tsavorite is a grossular garnet, aka calcium aluminum silicate, and the classification borrows from the Latin word for “gooseberry,” a berry that is light green in color.

18k yellow gold necklace with citrine, lemon quartz, prasiolite, peridot, and a tsavorite tassel, price on request; Goshwara

· Tiffany & Co. gave tsavorite its name in 1968. The gem was first discovered by British gem prospector Campbell R. Bridges in the mountains of northeast Tanzania in 1967. After he notified Tiffany & Co. of the find, the retailer introduced the green garnet to the U.S. market, calling it “tsavorite” after Kenya’s Tsavo National Park, located not far from the site of the mine Bridges eventually opened on the Kenya-Tanzania border.

18k yellow gold ring with a .91 ct. tsavorite center stone surrounded by .13 ct. t.w. diamonds and .34 ct. t.w. tsavorites, price on request; Omi Privé

· Blue undertones are best. “The important thing with tsavorite is that you have an undertone of blue rather than yellow,” said Daniel Assaf of The Tsavorite Factory in New York City, in an interview with Gems &Gemology. “In terms of how dark or deep a color it is, as long as it’s not overly dark, it’s a good stone.”

18K yellow gold earrings featuring blue zircons, tsavorites, and diamonds, price on request; Campbellian Collection

· Tsavorite has better clarity than emerald and offers comparable hardness (7.5 on the Mohs scale).

18k white gold bangle bracelet with a .38 ct. marquise diamond and 1.18 cts. t.w. tsavorites, $6,000; Hamra Fine Jewelry & Timepieces

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All That Glitters Writer