Unlike so many gemstones which originated thousands of years ago, here is one gemstone that is very proudly called ‘the gemstone of the 20th century’. This deep blue hued gemstone was first found in 1967 in Merelani Hills near Arusha in the north of Tanzania. Tanzanite occurs only in one place in the whole world and that is Tanzania, a state in the East of Africa. And it is from its origin that the stone derives its name from.
The name ‘tanzanite’ was given by Tiffany and Company. Two years hence its discovery, Tiffany’s presented the exclusive gemstone to the general public with a huge advertising campaign. Since then tanzanite has become a much coveted gem.
Tanzanite usually occurs in reddish brown color in its rough state. The stone is then given heat treatment which gives it the violet blue color. This deep blue color with a tint of purple usually occurs with inclusions producing effects like white streak, or yellow brown tints. The gemstone is very often given heat treatments which help in removing the yellow brown tint and enhances its signature blue violet color. When white light falls on this blue hued stone, it breaks into two separate paths, creating three different colors – blue, purple and bronze. This trichroic nature(light breaking into three colors) of these stones creates a mesmerizing effect and gives the stone an undeniable personality.
Tanzanite belongs to the Zoisite family of stones. Tanzanite is made up of Calcium aluminum silicates, and is relatively soft, usually between 6.5 and 7 on Moh’s Scale of hardness.
Due to the stone being relatively soft, it has to be treated with respect. Tanzanite is sensitive to thermal shock and cleavage as well. One has to take special care as tanzanite gets easily scratched. The best way to clean your tanzanite jewelry is with warm water and mild soap. One should never use ultrasonic or steam cleaning to clean tanzanite jewelry.
Their prominent size makes tanzanites an excellent choice for center piece. Owing to their occurrence at only one place worldwide, these gemstones are even rarer than diamonds. These gemstones given their elegance can make any woman go weak in her knees. These royal pieces of gems occur in an array of colors ranging from ultramarine to sapphire blue, but they appear closer to amethyst in artificial light. The value of these gemstones is determined according to their color and clarity. Blue tanzanites command more price than the purple ones, and the price of this gemstone increases with the increase in blue hue in the stone.