A Brief History:
The heavenly violet-blue tanzanite gemstone is a relatively recent discovery.
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 hunger who believed they might have discovered a new blue sapphire mine, not knowing that they actually unearthed one of the newest precious gems in the world.
Tiffany's launched a big publicity campaign for the stone in 1968.
And almost overnight, Tanzanite was popular with leading jewellery 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 is considered approximately 1,000 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.
- Tiffany's named the blue-violet variety of zoisite in honour of Tanzania, where it was first discovered.
- Tanzanite has been worn by many Hollywood stars such as Cate Blanchett, who wore a Chopard tanzanite necklace to the Cannes Film Festival one year, Penelope Cruz's engagement ring that has a tanzanite centre stone and Anne Hathaway who wore tanzanite drop earrings during the 2011 Oscars.
A Note of Extra Care for Tanzanite:
Tanzanite has what they call 'perfect cleavage' meaning that a single blow could cause the stone to split (diamonds and topaz have the same characteristic!).
In addition, its hardness of 6-7 doesn't make it suitable to wear this stone as an everyday ring. So better save this gorgeous stone for special occasions and wear it as a cocktail ring (not so horrible either, I'd say 🍸).
Another option is to have your tanzanite centre stone set in a ring surrounded by other, more durable gems or in a protective 'bezel' setting (sort of a golden 'band' around the gemstone) instead of a prong setting.
A tanzanite can easily be worn every day as earrings or a necklace as they tend to absorb less blows than a ring.
Why fall in love with Tanzanite?
- Colour: the vivid violet-blue hue of tanzanite can rival a fine blue sapphire and so, creates a chic substitute for the more expensive blue sapphire. This makes tanzanite an extremely desirable gemstone.
- The stone can and should be eye-clean and has an attractive luster (the sparkle that comes from the surface of the stone).