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Tsavorite, 50 years of the Kenya green gold

Legend of the famous Tsavo stone, now rare and expensive

30-08-2017 by Antonio Altieri

Tsavorite turns fifty.
The green stone named after Tsavo National Park was discovered in 1967 by the Scottish geologist Campbell Bridges.
Since then it has become increasingly famous abroad in Kenya and Tanzania, the only countries in which it is located.
Legend says the geologist, who lived in Tanzania and owned a reserve, on the Kenya border, in addition to Tiffany's consultant, was walking in savannah when a buffalo tried to load it.
To escape the animal and save his life, Campbell took refuge in a rocky split of the land where, awaiting the buffalo to leave, he discovered a bright green rock.
Intending to save her skin and worried about the darkness, she could not take a sample, but she was convinced she had discovered something very similar to the emerald.
Meanwhile Tanzanian President Nyerere nationalized reservations, and many British citizens were forced to move to neighboring Kenya.
It was there that the geologist, resuming his research, discovered a field of these precious stones in an impregnable area behind the Taita hills, in Tsavo's park.
He acquired the land and built a rude house on a tree to defend itself from the wild animals.
From his tales we learn that it was a big python to make him a guard and that in his reserve two leopards were almost domesticated.
Since then, Kenyan stone has begun, and even other seekers, driven by possible gains, have been looking for the so-called "green gold".
It was the president of the famous American maison to combine the term "Tsavorite" after a safari in the stone extraction areas.
Campbell has also resisted attempted looting by bandits and smugglers over the years, until in 2009, at 71, he was shot dead in an ambush by some twenty bandits who wanted to exploit his mining concession. Today the drawing of the tsavorite is followed by his son Bruce but goes on very hard, and there are no other areas in the world where this stone is present, and even in Tanzania seems unrecognizable. That is why its price is rising steadily. Anyway, Kenya's new mining laws can not develop Tsavorite's research and extraction.
The peculiarities of Kenyan stone are the shades of green. Like all the other garnets, the tsavorite has a high refractive index of light. Unlike other stones, it does not require any treatments to make it brighter, not heated, and not even immersed in oil. Its hardness is similar to that of emerald, but it is more resistant to shocks. Compared to emerald is also easier to cut and less subject to accidental damage. Usually the stones are small, it is rare to find rough stones larger than 5 carats.

TAGS: TsavoriteKenya gemmeKenya pietreKenya gioielli

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