Despite the intrinsic scarcity associated with a sole deposit, Tanzanite is one of the most beautiful transparent blue gemstones around.
AAA Tanzanite & Diamond 18K White Gold Ring
Discovered in 1967 by Manuel D'Souza, identified by Scottish geologist Campbell Bridges and finally named by Henry B. Platt from Tiffany & Co., Tanzanite was named after the country in which it was found, Tanzania.
History of Tanzanite
According to popular myth, nomadic Masai first found beautiful blue Tanzanite crystals which had been transformed from their typical bronzy greyish brown appearance by a grass fire. Although this story is more like urban legend, the Masai are a people forever linked to Tanzanite as they regard blue as a sacred spiritual colour. Once bestowing blue beads and robes to women who have born children, the Masai have now adapted this old tradition. Today, Masai chiefs give Tanzanite to women on the birth of their baby as a blessing for a healthy, positive and successful life.
Composition of Tanzanite
Tanzanite’s colour is determined by the amount and ratio of chromium and vanadium. The incorporation of these elements into pockets of transparent Zoisite, Tanzanite's mineralogical name is done entirely by chance.
Properties of Tanzanite
AAA Tanzanite & Diamond 18K Yellow Gold Ring
As a pleochroic or trichroic (three-coloured) gemstone, each Tanzanite crystal has three colours, blue, purplish-red and greenish-yellow brown (bronze), whose intensity changes when it is viewed from different angles. The most desired colour is a sapphire-esque blue but Tanzanite’s final colour is a combination of its three trichroic hues. While Tanzanite's colours are typically blues, highly collectable greens, pinks and yellows are also known to exist. Tanzanite exhibits a colour shift (a colour change where the two colours are near each other on the colour wheel) from its blues in daylight, to purples and violets in incandescent lighting. Heat treatment is commonly done to maximise the blue, violet and purple hues although the results can vary between each crystal.
Available in an array of shapes and sizes, Tanzanite under 20 carats is most popular. Ovals and cushions are the most common cuts, but Tanzanite is also available in rounds as well as other shapes. This is important, as a high transparency and an absence of inclusions accentuates its glamorous colours.
Tanzania has the worlds only commercial deposit of Tanzanite's, this sole deposit scarcely covers 20 square kilometres. The deposit has been segmented by the Tanzanian government into four 'blocks', overall Tanzanite production is decreasing. Tanzanite is as much defined by its rarity as its beauty.