Tanzanite is a rare and exquisite gemstone that captivates the eyes with its vibrant hues and remarkable beauty. It is renowned for its deep blue-violet color, which is unlike any other gemstone. Tanzanite's unique color, combined with its scarcity and captivating brilliance, has earned it a special place in the world of gemstones. The story of tanzanite begins in Tanzania, East Africa, where it was first discovered in 1967. It is believed to be one of the rarest gemstones in the world, as it is found only in a small mining area near the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. This region's geology and unique conditions contributed to the formation of tanzanite over millions of years. One of the most remarkable characteristics of tanzanite is its pleochroism, which means it can display different colors when viewed from different angles. In the case of tanzanite, it can exhibit shades of blue, violet, and sometimes even burgundy or brown. This color play adds to its allure and makes each tanzanite gemstone truly unique.
Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral zoisite and owes its mesmerizing color to the presence of vanadium. Its intense blue-violet hues are highly sought after, especially in larger sizes and high clarity. Due to its rarity, tanzanite is often considered a collector's gemstone and holds significant value in the market.
When it comes to tanzanite's metaphysical properties, it is believed to possess various meanings and powers. It is considered a stone of transformation, promoting spiritual growth and enlightenment. Tanzanite is said to enhance communication and psychic abilities while aiding in emotional healing and balancing energies.
As a relatively soft gemstone, with a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, tanzanite requires careful handling and protection from scratches and hard impacts. It is commonly faceted into various shapes, including rounds, ovals, cushions, and emerald cuts, to showcase its color and brilliance.
Since its discovery, tanzanite has gained popularity worldwide, and it is highly prized in the realm of fine jewelry. It is often set in precious metals like gold or platinum and used in rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. The combination of tanzanite's vivid color and its rarity makes it a symbol of luxury and elegance.
Tanzanite is believed to symbolize transformation and spiritual growth. It represents the journey of self-discovery and enlightenment, encouraging individuals to embrace personal growth and explore their spiritual path. Tanzanite's unique color-changing properties can be seen as a metaphor for the transformative nature of life and the ability to adapt to change.
Tanzanite is associated with enhancing communication skills and facilitating self-expression. It is believed to encourage open and honest dialogue, helping individuals communicate their thoughts, ideas, and emotions effectively. Tanzanite's vibrant blue-violet hues are said to stimulate the throat chakra, promoting clear and authentic communication.
Tanzanite is thought to promote balance and harmony within oneself and in relationships. It is believed to help individuals find equilibrium between their physical, emotional, and spiritual aspects. Tanzanite's soothing energy is said to foster a sense of inner peace and serenity, promoting harmonious connections with others.
Tanzanite is associated with enhancing intuition and psychic abilities. It is believed to stimulate the third eye chakra, opening up channels of insight, intuition, and spiritual awareness. This birthstone encourages individuals to trust their inner guidance and tap into their intuitive powers.
Hardness and strength
Tanzanite has a hardness of around 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness. This places it in the range of medium hardness. While tanzanite is not as hard as some other gemstones like diamonds (which have a hardness of 10), it is still considered suitable for most types of jewelry. However, due to its slightly lower hardness, tanzanite should be handled with care to avoid scratching or chipping.
- Heat Treatment: Heat treatment is the most prevalent and accepted treatment for tanzanite. It involves heating the gemstone to high temperatures to remove any brownish or yellowish hues and enhance the blue and violet colors that tanzanite is prized for. This treatment is considered stable and permanent.
- Irradiation: Tanzanite can also undergo irradiation treatment, which involves exposing the gemstone to controlled levels of radiation. This treatment can intensify or alter the color of tanzanite. Irradiated tanzanite may display a more vivid blue or purplish-blue color. Irradiation is usually followed by a heat treatment to stabilize the color changes.
Quality and grading
Blue: Tanzanite is most commonly associated with shades of blue, ranging from pale, almost sky-blue hues to intense, deep blues. The blue color can vary in intensity and saturation, giving tanzanite a range of captivating blue tones.
Violet: Tanzanite also exhibits shades of violet, from lighter lilac tones to rich, intense purples. The presence of violet hues is what distinguishes tanzanite from other blue gemstones.
Blue-Violet: The most prized and sought-after color for tanzanite is a vibrant blue-violet. This captivating combination of blue and violet hues gives tanzanite its signature look and contributes to its allure.
Blurple: Tanzanite is known for its pleochroism, which means it can display different colors when viewed from different angles. In certain lighting conditions, tanzanite may exhibit a unique color known as "blurple," which is a mix of blue and purple.
Tanzanite with excellent clarity, free from visible inclusions or blemishes when examined with the naked eye, is considered "eye clean." These gemstones have high transparency and allow light to pass through without obstruction.
Round Cut: The round cut is a classic and popular choice for tanzanite as well as other gemstones. It features a symmetrical round shape with a brilliant cut, allowing the gemstone to exhibit maximum sparkle and brilliance.
Oval Cut: The oval cut is another popular choice for tanzanite. It features an elongated shape with rounded ends, combining the brilliance of a round cut with a unique and elegant appearance.
Cushion Cut: The cushion cut is a square or rectangular shape with rounded corners, resembling a pillow. It is known for its soft and romantic appeal, showcasing the color and brilliance of tanzanite.
Emerald Cut: The emerald cut is a rectangular shape with stepped facets that create a hall-of-mirrors effect. This cut highlights the clarity and color of tanzanite, giving it an elegant and sophisticated look.
Pear Cut: The pear cut, also known as a teardrop shape, combines the features of a round and marquise cut. It has a rounded end and a tapering point, creating a unique and versatile shape for tanzanite jewelry.
Marquise Cut: The marquise cut is an elongated shape with pointed ends. It is designed to maximize the gemstone's carat weight and create a flattering, elongating effect when set in jewelry.
Princess Cut: The princess cut is a square or rectangular shape with pointed corners. It is a popular choice for tanzanite engagement rings and offers a modern and sophisticated appearance.
Trillion Cut: The trillion cut is a triangular shape with curved sides. It is often used as accent stones or in unique tanzanite jewelry designs, adding a touch of elegance and creativity.
Tanzanite gemstones can be found in smaller sizes, typically ranging from around 0.10 carats to 1 carat. These smaller stones are commonly used as accent stones in jewelry pieces or for more delicate designs.
- Tanzanite should be protected from exposure to harsh chemicals, including household cleaners, chlorine, and abrasive substances. These chemicals can damage the gemstone's color, clarity, and luster.
- Gently scrub the gemstone and its setting to remove dirt, oils, and residues that may dull its appearance. Rinse the tanzanite thoroughly with clean water and pat it dry with a soft, lint-free cloth.
- When not wearing your tanzanite jewelry, store it in a separate compartment or a soft pouch to prevent scratching and minimize contact with other jewelry pieces. tanzanite has a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, so it can scratch other gemstones or metals if stored together.
- Although tanzanite is relatively durable, it is still susceptible to damage from physical impact. Avoid subjecting your tanzanite jewelry to sharp blows, rough handling, or activities that may expose it to unnecessary stress.
- Periodically have your tanzanite jewelry inspected by a professional jeweler. They can assess the condition of the gemstone, check for loose settings or prongs, and provide any necessary repairs or maintenance.