Tanzanite is the blue variety of the mineral zoisite. It is popular for its exotic, velvety color that ranges from a rich violet blue to more purple tones. Smaller sized stones are paler – lavender to periwinkle tones.
Tanzanite exhibits a mesmerizing combination of blue and violet because it is pleochroic. That means it gives you two colors in the same stone. From one angle it is seen as purple and from another, blue. What’s more, it is one color indoors and another outside. Tanzanite has a scintillating play of light refraction.
The source of tanzanite is one, single finite area. It is only mined in the Merelani hills in Tanzania, Africa in a production area that is approximately five square kilometers in size. This is the only location found worldwide and prices fluctuate based on inconsistent production.
According to Mike Nunn, CEO of AFGEM, the organization that mines and markets 70% of the world’s supply of tanzanite, the prediction is the entire supply of tanzanite will be completely exhausted in approximately fifteen years. Due to the singular geological phenomenan, the chances of tanzanite occurring elsewhere are a million to one.
Special care should be taken of your precious tanzanite jewelry in wear and cleaning. It can be cleaned with warm soapy water and a soft brush. Avoid contact with acids, harsh cleaning solutions, and sudden temperature changes as this may cause cracking in this somewhat soft gemstone. You’ll need to avoid hard knocks and scratches as well.
Tanzanite is a new addition to the official birthstone list by the American Gem Trade Association. As of October 2002, it is an additional birthstone for the month of December. Tanzanite is also the recommended gem gift for couples celebrating their twenty-fourth wedding anniversary. Tanzanite is truly no
ordinary gemstone and has a rarity greater then diamonds.