The tsavorite garnet is in fact a garnet, but instead of being a deep red color, tsavorites are a brilliant green. As a result, many of the ways that you value normal garnet jewelry do not work for tsavorite jewelry. You must factor in the unique history and aspects of the stone to determine which type of tsavorite is set in your potential purchase.
Evaluate the color. Tsavorite garnets come in shades of green from a light "spring" green to a very dark forest green. The most popular and valuable color for this gemstone is the vivid, radiant blue-green. There should be much more green than blue in this shade, which will help you determine how valuable the gem is. Generally, you should avoid tsavorites that can be mistaken for aquamarine stones, though ones that appear like emeralds are in high demand.
Rate the brilliance. Tsavorites have unusually high brilliance, even when the stones are very small. Most tsavorites are extremely refractive, and even flawed stones tend to have a great deal of sparkle. Therefore, to rate the brilliance, you must compare tsavorites to each other rather than base your opinion of the brilliance on a comparison to another type of gem.
Weigh the importance of size. Tsavorites are very seldom large stones. They are hardly ever discovered in weights greater than 2 carats. A tsavorite of 2 carats or more will be exponentially more valuable than a smaller comparable stone. The price differential based on size is far more dramatic than for other gemstones.
Factor in the setting. Tsavorites are very hard, which makes them prime candidates for an "invisible" setting in which the stones are set very close together. If you like this setting, you should seriously consider using tsavorites instead of emeralds, since emeralds are easily damaged when they are set close together. As with most gems, the more elaborate the setting, the more expensive the jewelry will be. However, custom settings can be easier to do with a hardy tsavorite, which may place a more intricate setting within your price range.
Because some tsavorite garnets look nearly identical to emeralds, make sure that you are actually getting the stone that you are paying for when you buy jewelry. Regardless of which stone you desire, make sure that you buy the real thing.
- http://www.jewelryexpert.com/catalog/graphics/Tsavorite-Elegance-Ring-2.gif, http://www.gemstone.org/gem-by-gem/english/tsavorite.html, http://www.greglasley.net/Images/African-Rock-Python-0004.jpg