June 7, 2012

Tanzanite: Fun Facts

Posted in birthstones, gemologist, gemstones, gift ideas, jewelry, jewelry care tagged , , , , , , at 5:02 pm by rosediamonds

No history or lore was needed for tanzanite to become one of the most popular gemstones in the world.   Discovered in 1967, this gem was once marketed as a sapphire alternative.  Its color spectrum ranges from bluish violet to purple.  Due to the political unrest by the leaders of Tanzania, the gem’s supply fluctuates and has caused historically large price jumps.

  • Member of the zoisite family
  • Marketed originally by Tiffany & Co in 1968
  • Mined in one place only: Tanzania
  • In 2002, tanzanite became an alternate December birthstone
  • Most tanzanite comes out of the ground a creme soda brown and routinely heated to get the trademark blueish violet.
  • Exhibits trichroism (can exhibit three different colors depending on the orientation of the crystal to the viewer)
  • Has been a popular “push present” for parents of new babies which probably led to its recent link with fertility
  • Hardness 6-7
  • Can cleave in 2 diections (ie. prone to chipping)
  • Toughness: fair to poor (also referring to chipping)
  • Care includes NO ultrasonics, NOsteamers, NO rough handling, and NO abrupt temperature changes
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1 Comment »

  1. Very interesting article.Great work you have done.


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