Their spectacular brilliance and gorgeous colours have made tsavorite and peridot among the most popular coloured gemstones in the market today. Just take a look at Paul Wild’s exceptional peridot necklace – the Flower Fairy chain and pendant – and its stunning tsavorite necklace layout. In this feature, industry insiders tell us why they are upbeat about the demand prospects for these gemstones.
By Bernardette Sto. Domingo and Marie Feliciano
Over the years, tsavorites have become extremely popular among Chinese buyers, who are now driving global demand for the green gemstone, according to Milind Kala of Vivid Gems (HK).
“Tsavorites were highly sought after in the US and Europe with Europeans generally buying larger-sized, top-quality stones and the US market consuming smaller stones,” noted Kala. “Lately, however, the stone has caught the fancy of the Asian market – the Chinese and Taiwanese in particular. Sri Lankans are fuelling demand at the source in Arusha, Tanzania and they are buying for the Chinese market.”
Kala added that premier-quality tsavorites of more than 2 carats to 3 carats have become even rarer today, resulting in stronger demand for smaller-sized gems. The rising interest in tsavorites can also be traced to the market’s relentless desire for emeralds.
“Tsavorites are a great alternative to emeralds because tsavorites are less included, rarely treated, durable and generally less expensive,” added Kala.
Prices, however, have gone up due to robust demand from the Chinese market, coupled with low supply. Current prices for stones of around 1 carat to 2 carats are approximately $250 to $400 a carat while stones of more than 2 carats now sell for $800 to $1,200 per carat. Tsavorites between 3 carats and 5 carats fall within the $2,500 to $4,000 a carat price range, according to the Vivid Gems official.
Tsavorite is expected to influence a number of jewellery designs in 2017, largely due to “Greenery” being Pantone’s 2017 Colour of the Year.
“Green-coloured jewellery can help make the wearer feel at peace throughout the day. Tsavorite is the most beautiful, translucent, vivid green gemstone that is just as beautiful but more affordable than emerald,” noted Kala.
The stone is expected to attract more interest in the industry, riding on the market’s unwavering love for emeralds and even jade, he added. “Emeralds have been in high demand lately, thanks to Gemfields’ hard-line marketing campaigns and auctions. Jade, meanwhile, has been around for thousands of years and has become a symbol of wealth in China. With these two green gemstones being highly favoured, we see a lot of potential for tsavorite as the best and less expensive alternative,” Kala said.
For her part, Sabina Lee of Hong Kong-based fine jewellery brand Green G, said tsavorites infuse an opulent, captivating appeal to her collections.
“The rich, green colour of the stone plus its availability in different shades make tsavorite irresistible for me. I actually prefer tsavorite’s green shade than that of an emerald. Emeralds also don’t come in a wide range of small sizes,” the jewellery designer explained.
Lee’s Monet Collection, which pays homage to the famous painter, features tsavorites in combination with diamonds and other coloured gemstones – a testament to the green stone’s versatility.
“You will certainly find tsavorites in my future fine jewellery collections,” added Lee.
In love with green
Apart from tsavorite, another green gemstone that is making waves in the market is the peridot – loved for its dainty olive-green hue, according to Michael Koh, managing director of Singapore-based Caratell Pte Ltd.
Peridot is preferred for its deep, pleasant green colour that exudes freshness, vitality and hope, added Koh.
“A gemstone connoisseur loves everything that is beautiful, rare and with unique properties such as peridots from Kashmir. In general, green gemstones are well-liked by Asians,” he noted.
Tsavorites, meanwhile, infuse a unique character to jewellery designs, particularly those from Merelani in Tanzania.
“It fluoresces orange under a UV light, which is very uncommon since garnets are known to be non-responsive under a UV light. This makes designing more fulfilling as we try to combine tsavorite with other gems that fluoresces to create the so-called wow effect,” remarked Koh, adding that while some buyers still view tsavorite as an emerald substitute, the gemstone is increasingly being appreciated for its exceptional beauty.
“Both peridot and tsavorite are more affordable compared with the so-called big three (rubies, sapphires and emeralds). There will definitely be demand as consumers continue to look for substitute stones,” said Koh.
Gem from Pakistan
Germany-based gemstone dealer and jeweller Vikar Ahmed recently unveiled one of his top finds – a 121.01-carat peridot from Pakistan. “This is one of the biggest pieces of peridot ever discovered from Pakistan. The stone weighs 121.01 carats and has an intense bright green colour. It is also completely clean.
We cut the stone in Idar-Oberstein perfectly,” Ahmed said.
The gemstone dealer said the gem’s colour is so vibrant that he likened it to a solar flare that “illuminates one’s life and warms the soul.”
“The Egyptians call it the ‘gem of the sun,’” he said. The peridot is part of Ahmed’s “Big is Beauty” Collection, which is featured in his Neo Haute Gemmes brand.
“Only the finest material is used, and everything is cut and manufactured by master lapidarists in Idar-Oberstein,” Ahmed said.
At this year’s Intergem, scheduled for September 30 to October 3 in Idar-Oberstein, green gemstones including tsavorite and peridot are anticipated to hug the spotlight.
“The US colour organisation Pantone has named Greenery the trend colour of the year. This is also reflected in the offers of our exhibitors,” said Kai-Uwe Hille, the fair’s managing director. “The broad spectrum of coloured gemstones in particular means that pieces can be found to match every colour trend.”
Nicole Ripp of Groh + Ripp said, tourmaline, emerald, tsavorite as well as peridot and heliodor are good matches for Greenery.
Constantin Wild also has a large range that meets the Pantone hue Greenery: be it the green demantoid from Russia with its needle-like inclusions, chrome tourmaline from Africa (a rare variety of green tourmaline), tsavorite garnet in its numerous green nuances or peridot from Pakistan.
A. Ruppenthal has also oriented its range towards Greenery, with an extensive selection that includes interchangeable clasps with a pavé of chrome diopsides, emeralds and tsavorites; chains of chrysoprase and facetted peridots.