This one-of-a-kind gemstone, Tsavorite Garnet, has been donated to the Smithsonian National History Museum by two Arizona gem industry organizations.

Somewhere In The Rainbow and Bridges Tsavorite of Tucson, Arizona donated the gem known as the “Lion of Merelani.” This is one of the only additions added to the Smithsonian’s national collection in 175 years.

The 116.76 carat gem is known for it’s deep green emerald-like color and is the largest square cushion-cut Tsavorite in the world and the largest cut in North America.

Campbell Bridges discovered the gem in Tanzania in 1967 and has mined the gem in Kenya since 1970 after relocating. The Bridges family has ensured the documentation of the gemstone because of the uniquely large size. It was 283 carats when it was discovered.

It sat in the University of Arizona’s Alfie Norville Gem and Mineral Museum briefly in 2022. Even though the museum does not currently hold the gem, there are several other gems on display. This includes gold, diopside, and calcite with oriented pyrite.

On their website they share the importance of gem donations that contribute to the attractions, such as what the “Lion of Merelani” once was. Anyone interested in visiting the gemstones currently on display can go to 115 N. Church Ave. and purchase tickets in person at the desk.

The attraction is open Tuesday- Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM The last tickets are sold at 3PM and pricing ranges from $5-$15. Children ages 0-3 get in for free.

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