When purchasing Tsavorite there are several factors you need to consider - these are the 4 c's - Color, Clarity, Carat Weight and Cut.
Color is the most important of the 4 C's when considering Tsavorite quality. It can also be one of the most confusing aspects as you surf the web as so many different sites use different terms/grading systems and it is difficult to effectively compare one with another. Also, Tsavorite has a variety of colors which are considered top and this can be confusing most especially when trying to make comparisons. We have tried to help make this clearer by displaying a suite of Tsavorites below demonstrating color quality:
The pictures above do an adequate job of demonstrating color in Tsavorite. The top colors show how a top level of saturation of color produces a vivid deep color and when combined with top levels of tone produce a beautiful gemstone. The pictures below indicate what happens when the color is de-saturated and the last row show Tsavorite that is too saturated and have high tone levels. The GIA color grading system is the most widely accepted color grading system for colored stones and was developed around grading saturation and tone levels. To read more about GIA grading click here to open a sample certificate and then click the cursor on the color grade to get a full description of how GIA color grades are constituted.
GIA GRADES COMPARED
Tsavorites are not generally available in large sizes. even 1 carat fine stones are rare. On average, it takes over 1 ton of gem bearing rock to extract under 5 carats of fine 1 carat pieces. Fine stones over 2 carats are rare and over 3 carats they become very rare in the fine qualities. Many stones are cut to retain weight and sacrifice quality for size so be careful when buying large stones that you are not buying simply for size and that the clarity and color are also fine. Carat weight affects the price generally as weight increases stones in the same quality bracket will cost more per carat. In Tsavorite, because of the huge rarity of large stones, this price jump is marked.
Although it has the least impact on value of the 4 C's cut is still important. In the market, tsavorites are found in a variety of shapes and cutting styles. Ovals and cushions are the most common, but rounds are also seen, as are other shapes, including emerald cuts, trillions, etc. Cuts should be proportional - you don't want to pay for a stone with alot of weight in the pavilion for example when this weight will be invisible in a setting.
FAKES / SYNTHETICS / IMITATIONS : Tsavorite has never been synthesized, but a number of imitations exist. The most common is green glass. Another is synthetic Spinel (a manmade imitation) Laymen can easily be fooled so always buy from a reputable dealer, preferably a member of the ICA (International Gemstone Dealers Association) which has a strict code of ethics.
ENHANCEMENTS : None. Tsavorite is one of the most "honest" of all gems on the market today. It is simply cut, there are no treatments, enhancements or synthetics. It is one of the most endearing features of this wonderful gemstone.
WHAT IS KURANZE TSAVORITE? : There are a number of Tsavorite mines in East Africa. The majority of deposits contain Tsavorite colored by Vanadium. However, one deposit, in a place called Kuranze, also contains Chromium. This gives the stones from this deposit exceptional color, often with a trace of blue in the green like the finest Muzo Columbian emerald. This mine does not produce many stones and most that it does produce are small but material from this deposit is considered a cut above the rest.
FURTHER CONSUMER EDUCATION RESOURCES
You may also like to watch our multimedia presentation on why Tsavorite is superior to Emerald or about Tsavorite history & care for further information :
Or alternatively we can offer some select fine Tsavorite for discerning buyers:
You may also like to read more about Tsavorite on the ICA website. The ICA (International Colored Gemstone Association) is a non profit institution dedicated to educating the public about colored gems. It has a strict code of ethics.Our company has been a member for many years.
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