Beautiful tanzanite jewelry glistens with lovely shades of blue and hints of purple. In some light the tanzanite stone is a deep azure blue, in others it's a blue-violet. It adds a sense of mystery and surprise to this gemstone.
Where does it come from?
Tanzanite is the mineral zoisite. In it's natural form zoisite is an unassuming shade of brown, but add heat and it is transformed into the beautiful and desirable semi-precious stone we call tanzanite. To this day this unique stone is mined exclusively in Tanzania.
Although tanzanite has rapidly gained popularity in the last few decades, it wasn't discovered until the 1960s. A fire started in a village in Tanzania, and after it had gone out the villagers observed that the dull brown zoisite in the area had become a brilliant blue stone. They knew they had something people would want, and began trading it. It was an instant hit. The famed Tiffany Jewelry company recognized the stone's appeal and decided to market it under the name tanzanite, after its source country.
Types of Tanzanite Jewelry
The brilliant hues of tanzanite makes it popular for a variety of types of jewelry. It goes well with different types of metals, from icy platinum to warm yellow gold to economical silver. It can stand alone, or it combines well with other precious and semi-precious stones like diamonds, emeralds and amethyst. The stone can be cut large or small and into round, pear, marquise and oval shapes. Tanzanite rings and earrings are quite popular, as well as pendants, bracelets and brooches. Tanzanite is even seen in engagement rings, usually as an accent stone, but sometimes as the central stone.
Tanzanite has become so popular that the American Gem Trade Association named it a birthstone for December, along with turquoise and zircon.
The Mohs scale of gem hardness rates the harness of minerals on a scale of one to ten. Talc measures a one, while diamond, the hardest natural substance known to man, gets a ten. Tanzanite comes in at around 6.5 – 7, meaning it is more easily scratched than gems like sapphires or diamonds.
Avoid scratching tanzanite by removing tanzanite rings before doing housework, taking part in sports or other activities where the gem is in danger of being knocked around. With proper care, jewelry owners can keep their tanzanite jewelry looking lovely.