One of the most cherished and desirable gemstone worldwide, Tanzanite is a blue-purple stone belonging to the Zoisite family, and solely sourced in Tanzania. The name ‘tanzanite’ was a trade name coined by Tiffany shortly after the gemstone’s discovery. Tanzanite is extremely light sensitive. In fact, incandescent light shifts its blue hue to purple. Because of its deep colors and economical options, Tanzanite is often considered a substitute for Sapphire.
Other than its mesmerizing deep colors, tanzanite stones are also famous for their clarity and high brilliance. Clarity is the second most important of the 4 C’s when considering Tanzanite quality (color is first). Clarity simply refers to how inclusion-free is the gemstone. With the number of available options, the basic rule with Tanzanite is that the stone should be eye clean, but preferably loop clean as well. Top graded stones are loop clean even in a larger carat size. In the market, tanzanites are found in a variety of shapes and sizes. Ovals and cushions are the most common, but rounds, emerald-cuts and trillions are found frequently as well. Cabochon-cut tanzanites are not found as frequently because of the lack of demand.
With its breathtaking color and striking brilliance, tanzanite goes well with almost any jewelry design. Diamonds and White Gold metal add charisma to its brilliance and luster. Also appealing in Yellow Gold, the jewelry will appear to be in a heavier metal. Tanzanites are a preferred choice of gemstone center pieces because of their captivating nature. Finding large sized tanzanite stones are not rare because the gemstone is more economical per carat, so find the best tanzanite jewelry that fits your budget range.
Tanzanite Treatment and Enhancement
In the gem trade, almost all gems undergo some form of treatment or another. In fact, documented evidence shows treatment of gemstones occurred as far back as Pliny the Elder (23-79 AD). Clarity and color of a tanzanite improve drastically with heat treatment. Due to the permanent nature of this treatment, the gemstones do not alter in quality, only improve in aesthetics. In the initial rough stage, most Tanzanites appear in a predominantly brown shade. Heating at 500 to 600 degrees centigrade gives the stone its fine blue color.
Keep in mind, tanzanites can be considered fragile as they are semiprecious stones. Use mild detergent water to clean your tanzanite of any fingerprinted stains added to your gemstone. True color and radiance may get obscured by dirt and dust. Use a special cloth in cleaning your Tanzanite. This avoids all impurities that may be applied to your tanzanite gemstone, and will keep your stone shining like new.
Tanzanite History and Origin
A Masaai tribesman stumbled upon a shimmering blue crystal in the foothills of Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro in 1967. The stone was at first mistaken to be Sapphire, but was later identified and downgraded to the Ziosite mineral family. Tanzanite is named after its country of origin (Tanzania) and was owned by Tiffany and Co. from 1967 to 1972, when an estimated two million carats of tanzanite were mined. The mines were later nationalized by the Tanzanian government. In June 2003, the Tanzanian government introduced legislation banning the export of unprocessed tanzanite to India. The ban has been rationalized as an attempt to spur development of local processing facilities, thereby boosting the local economy.
In April 2005, a company called TanzaniteOne Ltd. publicly announced that they had taken control of the portion of the tanzanites deposited known as "C-Block" (the main deposit is divided into five blocks). In August 2005, the largest tanzanite crystal was found in the C-Block mine. TanzaniteOne Ltd., through their non-profit subsidiary, The Tanzanite Foundation, introduced their own color grading system. The new system's color-grading scales divided tanzanite colors into a range of hues, ranging from blue violet.
Tanzanite became a big hit after its enthusiastic reception by Tiffany. With its deep blue color, the stone seemed as a potential replacement for Sapphires early on. Hailed as the ‘Gemstone of the twentieth century’, the supply of tanzanite is likely to exhaust itself by the end of our generation.
Tanzanite Buying Tips
Tanzanite value is primarily based on their color. There is no set standard hue for tanzanite as they appear equally stunning in shades of blue, blue-purple and purple, and therefore, are based on personal preference. However, the best stones are medium to dark tones with high levels of colors and brilliance. Tanzanites are known for their clarity, so you should make sure the stone you choose is as clear as possible, providing maximum exposure and brilliance. At this point in time, we have ample tanzanite choices available even for larger carat weight sizes and dimensions, so take advantage and select a tanzanite that has the highest color, clarity, brilliance and fits within your budget range.
Lab Created Tanzanite
A lab created tanzanite is called tanzanique. It closely mimics the color of natural tanzanite gemstones, but does not display the same vibrant beauty. Tanzanite is part of the mineral family Zoisite, whereas, tanzanique is part of Forsterite. A popular hue is a medium-light ‘periwinkle’ blue. Another is a deeper purplish-blue. Angara does not deal in lab created tanzanites, but being a direct source allows you find natural tanzanites at incredibly reasonable prices.
The largest tanzanite crystal was found in 2005.The crystal weighed 16,839 carats and measured 22cm x 8cm x 7cm.
Green Tanzanite is the rarest type of Tanzanite available.
Tanzanites are the official birthstone of December, but are popular throughout the year.
Linked to Sagittarius and Capricorns, the stone is believed to make its bearer a confident and sophisticated personality.
Top quality tanzanite gemstones are valuable, rare, and are growing in demand.
Spiritual and healing properties suggest Tanzanites are the calming stone and creates balance. The tanzanite will help you manifest your desires through will power and vision.
The world's largest faceted tanzanite is 737.81 carats. One of the most famous large tanzanites (242 carats) is the "Queen of Kilimanjaro". It is set in a tiara and accented with 803 brilliant cut tsavorite garnets and 913 brilliant cut diamonds. The tiara is currently on display in the Gallery of Gold and Gems at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.