After Dark Tanzanite

A peek into the history of Tanzanite

The Tanzanite gemstone is a relatively recent discovery. Tiffany’s named this blue-violet variety of zoisite in honor of Tanzania, where it was first unearthed in 1967 by a Masai tribesman who is said to have stumbled across some striking blue-violet crystals that grew from the earth.

He alerted a local fortune hunter who believed they might have discovered a new blue sapphire mine, not knowing that they actually unearthed one of the newest gemstones in the world.Tiffany’s launched a big publicity campaign for the stone in 1968. Almost overnight, Tanzanite was popular with leading jewelry designers and other gem professionals, as well as with customers who had an eye for beautiful and unusual gems.

Did you know?

  • Tanzanite is rarer than diamonds. In fact, it’s considered approximately 1000 times more rare than most diamonds…
  • Tanzanite is only produced commercially in one small area of Tanzania: the hills of Merelani in northern Tanzania close to Mount Kilimanjaro.
  • Tanzanite has been worn by many Hollywood stars such as Cate Blanchett, who wore a Chopard tanzanite necklace to the Cannes Film Festival. Penelope Cruz's engagement ring has a tanzanite central stone and Anne Hathaway wore tanzanite drop earrings during the 2011 Oscars.

Note of extra care for Tanzanite

Tanzanite has what they call ‘perfect cleavage’, meaning that a single blow could cause the stone to split (like diamonds and topaz!). In addition, its hardness of 6 - 7 doesn’t make it suitable to wear this stone as an everyday ring, so save this gorgeous stone for special occasions and wear as a cocktail ring (life’s hard, I know).

Another option is to have your Tanzanite centre stone set in a ring with other gemstones around it or in a protective ‘bezel’ setting (a golden ‘band’ around the gemstone) instead of a ‘prong’ setting.

A Tanzanite gemstone can easily be worn every day as earrings or a necklace as they tend to absorb less blows than a ring.

Tanzanite Gemstone Picture 2

Why fall in love with Tanzanite?

  • The vivid violet-blue of tanzanite can rival fine sapphire and makes tanzanite an extremely desirable gemstone (and chic substitute for the often more expensive blue sapphire).
  • The stone can and should be eye-clean, and has an attractive luster (the sparkle that comes from the surface of the stone).

Want to learn more? Contact Eva to arrange a private consultation

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