Tsavorite Garnet Crystal (Tanzania)

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Tsavorite Garnet Crystal (Tanzania)

Mineral: Grossular Garnet var. Tsavorite

Origin: Merelani Hills, Lelatema Mountains, Simanjiro District, Manyara Region, Tanzania

Color: Vibrant Dark Green

Fluorescence: Small area fluoresces orange 

Treatment: None

Approximate Dimensions: 1.3cm x 1.3cm x 1.5cm

Weight: 3g

 

10% of this purchase will be donated to The International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF)

 

In 1967, British gem prospector and geologist Campbell R. Bridges discovered a deposit of green grossular in the mountains of Simanjiro District of Manyara Region of north-east Tanzania in a place called Lemshuko, 15 km (9.3 mi) away from Komolo, the first village. The specimens he found were of very intense color and of high transparency. The find interested the gem trade, and attempts were made to export the stones, but the Tanzanian government did not provide permits.

Believing that the deposit was a part of a larger geological structure extending possibly into Kenya, Bridges began prospecting in that nation. He was successful a second time in 1971, when he found the mineral variety there, and was granted a permit to mine the deposit. The gemstone was known only to mineral specialists until 1974, when Tiffany and Co launched a marketing campaign which brought broader recognition of the stone.

Bridges was murdered in 2009 when a mob attacked him and his son on their property in Tsavo East National Park. It is believed that the attack was connected to a three-year dispute over access and control of Bridges' gemstone mines.

The name tsavorite was proposed by Tiffany and Co president Henry Platt in honor of Tsavo East National Park in Kenya. Apart from the source locality and was first discovered in Manyara, Tanzania, it is also found in Toliara (Tuléar) Province, Madagascar. Small deposits of gem grade material have been found in Pakistan and Queen Maud Land, Antarctica. No other occurrences of gem material have yet been discovered.

 

 Thousands of years ago, red garnet necklaces adorned the necks of Egypt’s pharaohs, and were entombed with their mummified corpses as prized possessions for the afterlife. In ancient Rome, signet rings with carved garnets were used to stamp the wax that secured important documents.

The term carbuncle was often used in ancient times to refer to red garnets, although it was used for almost any red stone. Carbuncle was thought to be one of the four precious stones given to King Solomon by God.

Centuries later, in Roman scholar Pliny’s time (23 to 79 AD), red garnets were among the most widely traded gems. In the Middle Ages (about 475 to 1450 AD), red garnet was favored by clergy and nobility.

Color may vary in images and videos due to different lightings and angles.


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