Mint Grossular Garnet


Garnets have been known to Man for thousands of years. Noah, it is said, used a garnet lantern to help him steer his ark through the dark night. Garnets are also found in jewellery from early Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. Many an early explorer and traveller liked to carry a garnet with him, for the garnet was popular as a talisman and protective stone, as it was believed to light up the night and protect its bearer from evil and disaster. Today, science has taught us that the garnet’s proverbial luminosity comes from its high refractive index. Now for the green garnets. Green garnets?! Is there really such a thing? Indeed there is! In fact, several green varieties are known. First there is ‘grossularite’, created by Nature in many fine tones of yellow, green and brown and esteemed for its many fine interim hues and earth colours. Here too, there was a spectacular find Probably the best known green garnet is tsavorite or tsavolite, which also belongs to the grossularite group. It was originally discovered in 1967 by a British geologist, Campbell R. Bridges, in the north-east of Tanzania. Bridges and Tiffany’s in New York gave this name to the previous emerald-green stone – which is named after the Tsavo National Park with its wealth of game and is near where Bridges also discovered tsavorite in Kenya. The green of tsavorite runs from vivid and light to deep and velvety and, like all garnets, it has particularly good brilliance