The family of Andre Assaf announced his passing at the age of 79. Andre was known for his integrity, great sense of humor and love for his family including his children, Daniel, Yael and Ariel.
Andre and his late wife Malka founded The Tsavorite Factory in 1973. Years before, Andre and Malka worked for the French government as teachers. Their first assignment was teaching French in Côte d’Ivoire, and they were later posted in Nairobi. They fell in love with Kenya and remained there for a number of years; all three of their children were born there. While in Nairobi, Andre was fascinated by the local gemstone trade and with his entrepreneurial spirit, he began investing in local gems such as tsavorite and tanzanite.
Andre & Malka were among the first to introduce tsavorite and tanzanite to the Israeli market. For years, Andre’s name was synonymous with fine tsavorite, and he later expanded into a number of other exotic gemstones, with a focus on rare colors of garnets, tourmalines, and spinels.
Andre Assaf joined the American Gem Trade Association in 1982 and was an early member of the International Colored Gemstone Association. Those who knew him will remember his gregarious nature, sense of humor and charming personality. Andre’s gem legacy continues through his son, Daniel Assaf and The Tsavorite Factory.