Tsavorite, a form of grossular garnet, is a relative newcomer in the ancient world of gemstones. The luxuriant gem, which ranges in color from a light to a deep grass-green, was first discovered by Scottish-born geologist Campbell Bridges in Tanzania in 1967. When the Tanzanian government nationalized the mine shortly thereafter, Bridges moved his operation to Kenya, where he discovered the gemstone close to Tsavo National Park in the 1970s. However, it was Tiffany & Co. that catapulted tsavorite to fame—Henry B. Platt, the company’s president, fell for the gem’s rich hue, and in 1974 launched a marketing campaign around the gemstone, naming it after the park near where it was discovered. Today, tsavorite is said to be 200 times rarer than emerald, and designers are turning to it more than ever—each taken with its intense green hue and extraordinary brilliance.
Lebanese jeweler Selim Mouzannar has a connoisseur’s eye for colored gemstones and was drawn to tsavorite when looking for dramatic color contrasts for his new black enamel collection. “I was looking for a bright color association around the basic blue-red-green, but with a fresh and intense twist,” he said. “I chose tsavorite because it is slightly brighter than emerald, with a metallic effect.” Mouzannar’s triple-stone ring spotlights a luminous tsavorite as well as a blushing rhodolite and crisp blue tanzanite ($4,220).
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