Back to IGS | FAQ | Contact

Help with identification of tsavorite garnet or emerald

Is there a website where I can find high-quality images of inclusions of both natural and synthetic gemstones? I have a few stones I am looking at and am concerned that they may not be what I purchased. I recently purchased it from a retired gem dealer.

I put it under my refractometer and it gave me a reading of 1.56. I am concerned that he mislabeled his gemstones and sold me an emerald instead. I’m not sure if it is a synthetic or natural stone either,

I just purchased a polariscope and dichroscope but am still learning how to use them. My microscope arrives next week and I need to look at some sample images to be able to tell if what I am looking at is a synthetic or a natural stone. I was wondering if anyone would be able to point me in the right direction for the images.

Below is a very quick picture of the tsavorite in question.

Good afternoon,
I use Hyperion Lotus for inclusion images. Give it a try by typing that into your search engine and maybe you will find some excellent images. Have a nice day.


1 Like

I found some other websites with inclusion databases. Here is the list that I found:

Could this be glass as the RI of glass is something like 1.52?

Your R.I. is way too low for Tsavorite…garnet, which is around 1.80… your value of 1.56 is much closer to that of an emerald around 1.58. Natural emerald have “lots” of inclusions, whereas most synthetics are inclusion free… and your image appears to be very clean… making me guess that it is a synthetic emerald. Green glass usually has an index down about 1.45… so I doubt that it is glass.

Oops … hit reply too quickly. Green glass is isotropic, so it will be dark in all positions under crossed polarizers, whereas emerald is uniaxial (hexagonal crystal) and will show a weak birefringence and pass light every 90-degrees of rotation under crossed polarizers. Thus, whenyour polariscope arrives, hopefully it will quickly eliminate the glass.

These are all great suggestions to help determine what you have, but I always start with what I consider to be the most basic, and easiest test to begin narrowing things down. I’m talking about a simple specific gravity test. You should be able to tell the difference between glass at about 2.4, and emerald at 2.76, but you can easily distinguish between glass/emerald, and Tsavorite, because Tsavorite is considerably more dense at 3.49 specific gravity. It’s a simple, easy, quick and cheap test that can tell you a lot.

1 Like

My scale is a piece of %^%&^… not very good. I haven’t been able to do a proper specific gravity test using different McGuyver systems on the internet. So I purchased a Hanneman Specific gravity scale from the USA. Since I’m in the Philippines, it’s going to take a while before it arrives and I have to go through the nightmare that is the Philippines customs office. I’m so used to it now that I have a broker to help me with that (I co-own a jewelry firm with my wife, )… so I am pretty sure that the specific gravity test will be able to answer the question whether it is a Tsavorite, emerald or chunk of glass.

When someone calls a gem tsavorite, and it has a ri of 1.56, it is almost allways glass or other simulant.

Thank you. I think it is probably glass. I’ll know precisely what it is when my scale arrives.