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Andre Assaf, Co-Founder of The Tsavorite Factory, Dies at 79
He was introduced to gems while living in Nairobi, and his name eventually became synonymous with fine tsavorite.
Assaf was born in Fez, Morocco, in August 1942.
He was completing his graduate studies at Hebrew University in Israel when he met his future wife, Malka.
The two spent several years living in France and Switzerland, after which they went to teach French in the Ivory Coast followed by Nairobi, Kenya, where they lived for several years and had their three children.
It was in Kenya that Assaf was introduced to the local gemstone market, and he eventually began buying and cutting stones.
Assaf and his late wife founded The Tsavorite Factory in 1973, and his name would eventually become synonymous with fine tsavorite and other rare gemstones.
He had an adventurous spirit that took him around the world, his family said, making many countries his home, including Israel, Canada, the United States, and Thailand.
His love for gemstones ran deep, they said, and he was happiest when he was working at his cutting factory in Bangkok.
Assaf joined the American Gem Trade Association in 1982, according to AGTA, and was a founding member of the International Colored Gemstone Association.
Assaf had stepped away from the business in the past few years due to illness but was partners with his son, Daniel, for many years.
The Tsavorite Factory is now run by Daniel Assaf.
Andre Assaf will be remembered for his integrity, outgoing personality, great sense of humor, and love for his family.
He is survived by his three children, Ariel, Daniel, and Yael, as well as two sisters, Josianne and Jeannette.
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