There aren’t many ‘newly discovered’ gemstones. Most gems have been around for centuries if not thousands of years. But the earth has not given up all its treasures. Every so often, someone stumbles upon a new stone that upsets the whole idea of what are precious stones.
WHERE YOU LEAST EXPECT IT
Such is the story of tsavorite. (Say săv-o-rite) The stone is a relative newbie in the gem world. It was discovered quite by accident in the latter half of the 20th century by a British geologist kicking around the East African bush. Some peculiar nodules spread over the landscape that he stumbled upon bore shiny green bits. These sparkly rocks turned out to be a rare green garnet that
was eventually called tsavorite in a nod to the Tsavo National Park near its place of discovery.
THE DESIGNER’S EYE
Couture jewelry designer Laura Jackowski-Dickson, of LJD Designs happens to love these verdant treasures. She’s also a graduate gemologist and understands the value of these rare green jewels. According to Jackowski- Dickson, “It is difficult to acquire top quality tsavorite.” So imagine the challenge facing her when she set out to create a pair of tsavorite earrings.
Not only did she have to search for equal quality stones, but the sizes had to match. Was it difficult to find a perfectly matched set of tsavorite for her earrings, we wondered? “Oh yes, like finding a needle in a haystack,” she revealed. “We went through about a hundred stones to match them up; cut, carat weight and size, quality, and color. That’s why I chose platinum as the metal.”
THE MOST DAZZLING GREEN YOU NEVER HEARD OF
According to her, the general public and even jewelry collectors are not so savvy about tsavorite. But she does her part to present this jewel in its proper light. “Tsavorite garnet is definitely an underappreciated and little known stone. I find it much more appealing to the eye in color than an emerald.” Once people learn about this gem and hear the remarkable back story, they can
develop a real appreciation for it. Designers like Jackowski-Dickson who understand the value of this exceptional stone are on the forefront of exposing collectors to its charm. “I think when it is presented as an exotic gem people take more of an interest in it. But yes, it has a way to go before it becomes the new sought after stone.”