I0005: Inclusions in Tsavorite Garnet

Sometimes the world of inclusions can be a little bit overwhelming. So it is useful to mentally dissect portions of the gemstone into different parts and sections. It is much easier on the brain, and also much easier for the soul! (Allegedly…) This week we observe a tsavorite garnet, which characteristically comes with a relatively considerable amount of inclusions. In the gemstones markets you’ll find that this is more and more the case. The availability and rarity of a tsavorite garnet with no inclusions is a very hard task to handle. Which is not to say that there are no tsavorite garnets without inclusions… there are, and we do have them in our stock. But even those are not relatively large in size, since we cut according to the principles of the 4C’s. But today is about this tsavorite and these inclusions.

Left Hand Side

The left hand side is quite similar to the inclusions present in the right hand side, where there is significant evidence of fluid inclusions.

What this fluid is… that is the real question. A question unfortunately we don’t have an answer for. But it is quite interesting to have a look at under magnification.

There are more crystalline inclusions on the left hand side than the right hand side, which ultimately create small tracks through the gemstone. Tracks, which ultimately through centuries will either be empty or have fluid running through them as the crystals dissolve. This in fact is the origin story behind fingerprint inclusions where a space left by the formation of the gemstone gets filled by a liquid.

Right Hand Side

On the right hand side we begin with a large two phase inclusion, consisting of gas and fluid. We know this from previous journal entries where fluid looks like a thin film. And it looks different from the host gemstone in the way that light behaves. The gaseous part of the inclusion is when we see that there are small bubbles of air trapped in the gemstone. This is more of a dynamic observation because you will see the gas moving when you move the gemstone in different orientations.

Surrounding the fluid inclusion we can also observe a stress halo inclusion. It surrounds the main inclusion with something which looks like a … halo! On the bottom of the right hand side we see small dust-like inclusions which are most likely to be small crystalline inclusions, which ultimately will need further investigation with more powerful laboratory equipment than just a microscope.


Ultimately the heavy inclusions visible in this tsavorite devalue the cost of the gemstone, but indicate that the stone is natural. Sometimes this is used in the treacherous gemstone markets to essentially pass as fake emerald. Emerald is significantly more expensive than a tsavorite garnet. For size, emerald is even more expensive than tsavorite garnet. So it is understandable why a person might want to sell a tsavorite garnet as an emerald.

That being said a lot of the inclusions found in tsavorite garnets are very non-specific. Hence, other Gemmological tests, such as Refraction and Specific Gravity testing should be done. That way a gemologist has multiple avenues of evidence to discover what a stone exactly is.

Hope you all enjoyed dissecting the inclusions in this tsavorite garnet. See you next week folks!

Punala J. Kiripitige, FGAA, GIA AJP
Punala J. Kiripitige, FGAA, GIA AJP

The Founder of The Gem Monarchy, Punala is a qualified gemmologist(Gemmological Association of Australia) involved in every step of the gemstone boutique process, whether it be sorting, photographing and sending gemstones to making sure that you have the perfect gemstone for your jewellery.

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