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ITanzanite has grown popular in recent times as a possible source of investment. The blue gemstone has a certain quality that makes it seem like the perfect investment tool; it’s rarity.

It’s a well-known fact that the Tanzanite mines are going to be depleted at some point. When that will be? There are no accurate answers. This train of thought together with Tanzanite’s beauty has lead to its price rising and it’s appeal as an investment tool increasing. With that in mind, is tanzanite a good investment?

Background Facts on Tanzanite

After all that is said and done, let’s have a quick look at some of the facts regarding the rare blue gemstone (for those that might not know much about it).

For starters, the gemstone was only discovered in recent times i.e. in 1967. We have covered more about the history of Tanzanite here. Its popularity is even more admirable when compared to other gemstones that were discovered thousands of years ago.

The rare blue gemstone can be found in only one area in the entire world, Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro. The science states that it was the only area where the right chemical environment could be found for the formation of the gemstone.

Tanzanite also has a lot of beautiful characteristics such as it exhibiting pleochroism i.e. it can appear in different colors when viewed in light.

When making the decision to invest or not to invest. There are a lot of things that you need to consider such as the market and price history of the investment apparatus. We’re not going to delve deeply into all that. You can get a simplified view of the price and market history of Tanzanite here.  

raw tanzanite and tanzanite jewelry on display

Reasons to Invest in Tanzanite

Investing should not be taken lightly, we advise you to have a chat with your financial advisor before making any large financial decisions. With that said, here are some of the reasons why you should invest in Tanzanite:

1. It’s rare

Tanzanite can be found in only one area in the world (and in the country). There also aren’t any signs yet of Tanzanite deposits being located anywhere else in Tanzania let alone the rest of the world.

On top of that, the mines are expected to be depleted at some point in the future. In fact, we might be the last generation that might own Tanzanite first hand. It’s this rarity that makes Tanzanite a good investment as demand is growing, but the supply is limited. Expect the value of this rare blue gemstone to increase in the coming years.

2. The Booming Asian Market

The Asian market has changed the way different industries operate, as they have flooded the market with “opportunities”. China and India combined are about 2.5 billion people. These two countries have seen a growth in their upper and middle-class income groups.

As these markets interest in rare gemstone grows, they will play a great role in increasing the value of Tanzanite as they will greatly increase the demand for this stone with its still limited supply.

Beautuiful Tanzanite ring from Tanzanite Experience

Where Can You buy Legitimate Tanzanite?

There are different ways that you can invest in this rare blue gemstone. You can do this by buying Tanzanite jewelry or buying a raw Tanzanite stone. One great quality of Tanzanite is that it’s easier to transport compared to other Gemstones.

We can offer you great duty-free Tanzanite jewelry and stones of all cuts and kinds. You can also visit our Tanzanite Museum first to learn about this rare blue gemstone before purchasing one. We also make custom made jewelry if that’s your preference. As reputable dealers we work to provide only the best to all our clientele.

There are many attractions to visit in Arusha, but before we have a look at them, let's look at the city itself.

Arusha is located in Northern Tanzania and is famously known as the green city of Tanzania. Arusha is blessed with a lush and green environment, thanks to the relatively low temperatures and alleviated humidity.

Its relatively cool weather helps attract tourists from different parts of the world.

Apart from that, Arusha is also the hub for tourism in the northern circuit and we can dare say it is the hub for tourism in Tanzania as a whole.

Most safari trips start from Arusha and the city is the gateway to Kilimanjaro National Park, Tarangire National Park, Lake Manyara National Park, Ngorongoro Crater, Serengeti and without forgetting Arusha’s own Arusha National Park.

The city is not only a gateway to National parks, but there are also a lot of other attractions to visit in Arusha. Here are our top 10 picks of places to visit in Arusha.

10 ATTRACTIONS TO VISIT IN ARUSHA


1.Miracle Experience(Hot Air Balloon Safaris)

Places to visit; Miracke Experience (Hot Air balloon safaris)

Miracle Experience is at the top of our list of attractions to visit in Arusha as it offers a different perspective on how you go to safaris. It quite literally provides you with a safari from the sky.

Hot air balloon rides over Serengeti National Park will give you an incredible safari experience with enchanting scenery and uninterrupted views for an unforgettable adventure.
With hot air balloon safaris, you can appreciate the true magnitude of the Serengeti. The balloon safari provides you with a unique opportunity to capture captivating moments. As a testament to how great the experience is, Miracle Experience has been listed as one of the top 10 attractions to visit in Arusha

 

2. Game Viewing in Arusha National Park

Places to visit in Arusha; Arusha National park

They say east or west, home is best. Before venturing into faraway places in search of attractions to visit, Arusha National Park is just a few kilometers away from the Arusha City Centre.

Arusha National Park can be done as a day trip. The park encompasses Mt Meru, the Momella Lakes, Ngurdoto Crater and the lush highland forests.

Game viewing in Arusha National Park is not as what you might expect in the Serengeti. Some of the common species found in the park include the rare colobus monkeys, zebras, giraffes, and bushbucks among others.

Take a day trip to the Ngurdoto Crater, also located within Arusha National Park, whose rocky cliffs enclose a wide marshy floor for great views of herds of buffalo and warthog.

 

3. Canoeing on Momella Lakes

Things to do in Arusha; canoeing in Arusha

Not much an attraction to visit, but an activity to do while in Arusha. Go on a canoeing trip in the Momella Lakes located within Arusha National Park. The lakes, with their hues of green or blue, are home to thousands of pink flamingos and waterfowls.

The canoeing trips are about 3 hours long and are best done in the mornings or afternoons. On a canoeing trip you can expect to view buffaloes, bushbuck, giraffes, hippos and many water birds living in and close to the water.

 

4. Hike Mt. Meru

Attractions in Arusha; Mt. Meru trek

Mt. Meru trek is as a “warm-up” trek for those planning to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. It is a great way to acclimatize in preparation for a climb on Africa's tallest mountain.

Mt. Meru is also a fun hike by itself, suitable for people with a few days on their holiday calendar, but still want to do mountain climbing. One can hike Mt. Meru as a day tour or as a full 3 or 4 days hike. The trails offer amazing views of rivers and waterfalls for a relaxing day hike.

 

5. Tanzanite Experience Museum

Tanzanite experience museum; a place to visit and shop in Arusha

This list wouldn't be complete without talking about our own Museum. We boast the world’s only Tanzanite Museum located in Arusha.

The Tanzanite Experience Museum is a must-visit while you're in Arusha in order to learn more about the precious and rare Tanzanite stone whose only known source in the world is Tanzania, specifically in Arusha.

We offer interactive tours and visual exhibitions which include a replica of a Tanzanite mine shaft where you can discover how tanzanite was created, named, mined, cut, polished and graded.

Our museum is located in the center of Arusha and has a store attached to it. The Tanzanite Museum stocks a range of loose stones as well as exquisite Tanzanite jewelry available for purchase. There are also other store locations that you can visit.

 

6. Lake Duluti

A place to visit in Arusha; Lake Duluti

Lake Duluti is a crater lake located near the town of Tengeru, 14 kilometres from Arusha city centre. The lake is surrounded by the Duluti Forestry Reserve and has water throughout the year, mainly from groundwater and seasonal rainfall.

Lake Duluti covers an area of about 63 hectares and the crater walls are up to 200m high, mostly covered in thick forest.

The forest is a perfect environment for reptiles’ hunting and nesting. Common reptiles found around Lake Duluti include the green mamba and Monitor lizards. The lake also provides a perfect habitat for water birds such as grey herons, fish eagles, cormorants, ospreys, egrets, and kingfishers.

 

7. National Natural History Museum: Old Boma Museum

Boma Museum; one of the many attractions to visit in Arusha

The Old Boma Museum is located within an old German Military Outpost. Today, the museum showcases the city’s history, wildlife, culture and human evolution including findings from the famous Olduvai Gorge and the Laetoli sites. The best place to visit in Arusha if you're a history buff.

One can expect to learn about the evidence of human evolution, the history of Arusha during the German Colonial era, photos of wildlife and mountains.

For art enthusiasts, one can take arts and crafts lessons including painting, drum making. The museum also hosts a mini serpentarium, a mini zoo, a mini botanical garden as well as a section for the study of insects.

 

8. The Cultural Heritage Centre

Shopping in Arusha; Cultural heritage center in Arusha

Cultural Heritage Centre is located on the outskirts of Arusha. The center has a commercial art gallery, curio shops, and a jewelry boutique

At the cultural heritage center, you can purchase ornaments, jewelry, antiques, and local crafts depending on your budget. The arts and crafts showcase the present and past stories of the tribes of Tanzania.

You can also get a fresh meal at the center’s restaurant. Whether buffet or a la carte, the restaurant has a wide selection of meals including African dishes.

 

9. Shanga

Visit Shanga Foundation in Arusha

Shanga is a Swahili word for bead(s).

It all started with a handful of local fabric and beads necklaces for a Christmas fair in Arusha that sold out within hours. Inspired by the need to generate extra income for people with disabilities, Shanga has grown to what it is today, employing over 60 people with disabilities.

They produce creative products including weaving, glass blowing, beading, papermaking and metal work, using recycled and sustainable materials wherever possible.  

Shanga is located in the grounds of Elewana Arusha Coffee Lodge. A visit to Shanga will not only allow you to buy a piece of these amazing crafts but also support the efforts to empower people with disabilities.

 

10. Meserani Snake Park

Meserani snake park sign in Arusha

If you are looking for some thrilling adventure, Meserani Snake Park is a must-visit. Located 25 km from Arusha town, the park offers guided tours on some of the most dangerous snakes in the world and if you are brave, a photo-op with a real-life snake.

Some of the snakes that you can expect to see are the Black and Green Mamba, Egyptian Cobra, Puff Adders and many more. See the 3+ meter crocodiles at feeding time and get a chance to touch a baby crocodile.

Apart from snakes, you can also enjoy a tour of the Maasai Cultural Museum, and going on safari to the local village on camelback.

The park also runs a free medical health clinic that serves the local community as well as a Free Education Centre for the local Maasai where they learn how to read and write and other opportunities to further their education.

After all the thrill, a barbeque meal at the fully equipped, and fully stocked bar is a perfect way to wrap your visit.

 

Bonus Entries: Attractions in Neighboring Areas

Neighbouring National Parks:

If you have gone through most of the attractions to visit in Arusha, you can venture slightly out of the region and go on game drives in Lake Manyara National Park or Tarangire National Park; both can be done as day trips from Arusha or from Arusha en-route to other destinations such as the Ngorongoro Crater and Serengeti National Park.

Well, before we jump into how you can read Tanzanite certificates, let us remind ourselves of a few facts about Tanzanite.

Tanzanite as a name was first used by Tiffany and Company in reference to the blue zoisite mineral that was discovered in Tanzania in 1967.

Tanzania being the only known source of the stone in the world makes Tanzanite a very rare gem. It is only fair to assume that there may be gem imitations in the market as Tanzanite continues to grow in demand while the supply remains constant.

A study conducted in 2012 showed that there was only about 30 years worth of Tanzanite supply remaining in the ground.

(add a sample of a certificate of authenticity)

Certificate of Authenticity

To ensure one is paying for the right piece of Tanzanite, a Tanzanite Certificate of Authenticity comes in handy when buying the rare blue gemstone. The certificate is essential in confirming your Tanzanite’s authenticity and characteristics.

It’s important to have knowledge of some of the terminologies that you will find in a Tanzanite Certificate. A professional and honest Jeweller will give you a certificate and will go through the details with you. He/she will explain what the specifications in your certificate mean in relation to the global grading standard.

With that said, the information he will give you at the time of purchase may be too much to absorb within a short period of time. You are advised to familiarize yourself with the Tanzanite Certificate specifications prior to making a purchase. It will be easier to understand your certificate if you have gone through some of the technical languages beforehand.

Specifications in a Tanzanite Certificate

  1. The 4Cs of Tanzanite

To create a grading benchmark, the Tanzanite Foundation introduced a color grading system that is now used by Tanzanite players worldwide. Tanzanite foundation is a non-profit organization that deals with educating and inspiring consumers about Tanzanite. Understanding the color grading system will help you decode the information printed on the Tanzanite Certificate for making an informed buying decision.

In addition to colour grading, it is also important to understand other factors that make up the 4Cs of buying Tanzanite. The 4Cs i.e Color, Carat, Cut and Clarity plays an important role in determining the value of  Tanzanite that you are looking at buying. Read our guide to buying Tanzanite online that explains in detail about the 4Cs of Tanzanite and how they can affect your buying decision.

Once you understand the 4Cs of Tanzanite, you will be in a position to understand where your Tanzanite of choice falls under the global grading system.

  1. Unique Identification Number

Your certificate will indicate a number assigned to your stone. Each stone has its own unique number that can be used to trace the stone’s origin, ethical background, and authenticity.

Being rare, with a single known source of Tanzanite in the world, Tanzanite has become vulnerable to unethical mining and unethical routes to market. Ethical mining means that the Tanzanite has been mined in a controlled environment, under safe conditions for the miners, fair working practices and has followed an ethical route to market.

The certificate is a confirmation that the piece of gemstone that you will be buying has been mined in adherence to the Tucson Tanzanite Protocol, Labour, and Human Rights laws.

  1. Shape

Not to be mistaken by Cut, the shape of Tanzanite means the actual shape which the stone has been cut into. Tanzanite in the retail market comes in all forms of cuts and shapes. The shape of Tanzanite can be round, oval, cushion etc.

While the selection of the shape of Tanzanite is about personal preference, some shapes are more popular than others. Traditional shapes such as cushion and oval have retained their popularity over time, unlike modern and unusual shapes. You can visit our collection of Tanzanite jewelry to view the different shaped stones that we have on offer. 

Along with cut, the shape can greatly influence the value and price of a Tanzanite gemstone depending on the resulting brilliance and proportions achieved by the cut.

  1. Dimension

Dimension or size of Tanzanite refers to its length, width, and height. Tanzanite's dimension is usually measured in millimeters. Dimension should not be confused by the weight or mass of the gem which is measured in terms of carats.

The carat weight of your Tanzanite does not have a direct relation to the size/look of the gem. Two gemstones of the same carat weight can have different looks in terms of size.

Having gathered knowledge of specifications to expect in your Tanzanite Certificate, now you can walk into a Jeweller and be able to make sense of the terms indicated in your certificate. Equip yourself with more information about Tanzanite for an informed purchase.

Natural Tanzanite gemstone is a mix of gray, green, brown and blue color. The gem achieves its blue color through heat-treatment. Most of the Tanzanites we see in the market are heated. The big question is does heating affect Tanzanite quality?

Heating can occur naturally before the gem is mined. The earth’s thermal vents have been heating Tanzanite deposits for millions of years hence some gems are mined being already blue in colour. After mining, the gems are usually heat treated regardless, in order to remove any residual unwanted colors.

Natural Tanzanite gemstones can also be heat-treated to remove the brownish color and leave behind the blue and violet that we have all come to adore. Heating is done in temperatures ranging from 400 to 600 degrees centigrade for about an hour.

The heat treatment of Tanzanite is very mild as compared to heat treatment of other gems like rubies and sapphires. Such gems can be heated to temperatures between 1000 and 1800 degrees centigrade and held at those temperatures for days or weeks.

Tanzanite’s colour change through heating is not reversible and will remain unaffected by cutting and polishing. Be warned the colour does not signify Tanzanite quality.

Is Heated Tanzanite more Valuable than Unheated Tanzanite?

While heat treatment of Tanzanite may result in a more favourable colour, it does not enhance the grade or value of the gemstone. If a piece of Tanzanite was medium-grade, heating will not enhance it to a top-grade Tanzanite. Heat treatment does not affect Tanzanite quality. 

The value of Tanzanite will still depend on other factors apart from colour. These are the 4 Cs of Tanzanite. Along with colour, there are Carat, Cut and Clarity factors that determine the value of Tanzanite

Beautiful quality Tanzanite stone in Jewelry

Will Heating Enhance Tanzanite’s Color Saturation?

Heating does not change the original color of this rare blue gemstone. It only removes the red/brown axis and leaves behind the desired blue/violet color. If the stone was originally pale blue, heating will not enhance it into a deeper blue.

When a medium-grade Tanzanite which is normally lightish brown is heated, it will become pale blue/violet. When a top-grade stone which is normally deep brown is heated, it will become a deep blue/violet after heating. 

How to Distinguish Heat-Treated vs Unheated Tanzanite?

The difference between heated and unheated Tanzanite is the removal of the yellow color due to heating. However, it is known in the mining industry that some Tanzanite has been naturally heated and may show no yellow color when extracted.

Technically speaking, all Tanzanites are heated. Either through pre-mining thermal vent heating or post-mining in commercial jewelers. Heat treatment is a common practice and one should expect this when buying Tanzanite.

The practice goes back centuries. Heat treatment is basically a continuation of the heating processes that occurred in the ground. In today’s heat treatment, the stones are heated at very high temperatures hence speeding up the heating process that would have taken years if the stones were to be left in the ground.

Only a very small amount of untreated Tanzanite with perfect colour is found in the mine. This type of naturally blue Tanzanite has a much greater demand in the market as they are rare.

Without heat treatment, the world would be with less colored gemstones, Tanzanite included. Heating allows us to change off-colored stones into beautiful colored ones.

Does Heat Treatment Affect Tanzanite Quality?

It is currently impossible to scientifically test the nature of the Tanzanite’s treatment, whether naturally-heated or man-heated. Since all Tanzanite has been heated in one way or another, there is no effect on price. It is a common assumption that all Tanzanite gems have been heated at some point.

With that said, we offer in our online shop a variety of premium natural Tanzanite jewelry for you to buy at your convenience. We’re reputable Tanzanite dealers that mine, produce and sell only the best quality products to our clients.

Important facts when buying tanzanite jewelry online

When buying Tanzanite jewelry online, while you may be limited from a physical inspection of the gemstone, there are ways that can help you pick the right Tanzanite for you. The first thing you need to know is to note that not all blue gemstones are Tanzanite.

A Short History About Tanzanite

Tanzanite is believed to have been formed about 585 million years ago but was only discovered by Manuel de Souza in the Mererani Hills of Manyara Region in Northern Tanzania in 1967.

Some specimens of tanzanite can be blue when viewed from one angle, and vary from violet to red when viewed from other angles.

In its natural state, zoisite is rarely blue. The blue colour of zoisite is achieved by heat treating brown zoisite to a temperature of 600 degrees Celsius for about 30 minutes. That is 6 times the temperature of boiling water!

Did you think 600 degrees Celsius is a lot of heat? Hold that thought! As compared to other gems such as rubies and sapphires, Tanzanite’s heat treatments is considered mild. Rubies and sapphires can be heated to temperatures between 1000 and 1800 degrees Celsius and the heat is sustained for days or weeks.

Tanzanite was discovered for commercial purposes in the 1960s and within a short time, it had gained popularity and became the second most popular blue gem after sapphire. Apart from its unique beauty and characteristics, people purchase it because it has a much lower price compared to other gems.

Tanzania is the only world’s known source of the rare blue gemstone. The gemstone was given the name 'Tanzanite' by Tiffany & Co. who named it after Tanzania, the country in which it was discovered. Tanzanite was discovered in, and is to-date, mined in the Mererani Hills near the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Are all blue gems Tanzanite?

The answer is no. Users are advised to be careful when looking to buy Tanzanite online, as there are other blue gems in the commercial markets. Colour alone should not be a determining factor in buying Tanzanite. Other blue gemstones include aquamarine, topaz, and sapphire.

On top of that, Experts in gemstones came up with the Four Cs in which most gemstones are graded upon. Be sure to request information on the gemstone from the seller so you can check if they fit the Four Cs. 

Tanzanite jewelry; earrings

What are The Four Cs of Tanzanite?

1. Color

Colour refers to the hue of the stone and the degree of colour saturation. Unlike in diamonds, colour in tanzanites is the most significant feature. The blue in a Tanzanite is valued in terms of hue, tone, and saturation. Clear, deep blue-violet Tanzanites are valued more than dusky ones.

Tanzanite is a pleochroic gem, which means that it can seem to have different colours when viewed in different angles.

Most people know Tanzanite in its bright and intense blue colour. However, in some cases, Tanzanite can display intense violet with red flashes of colour due to the gem’s strong pleochroism characteristics.

Tanzanite obtains its blue colour as a result of heat treatment, which is what reveals Tanzanite’s pleochroic blue and violet colours. Heat-treatment can occur naturally through the natural-heating process within the earth before the gem is mined.

Only a small amount of Tanzanite has a naturally-produced blue colour through the heat of metamorphism. These naturally blue gems are more valuable and held in high regard by both gemstone buyers and sellers.

Tanzanite can also be man-heated which seems to be an acceptable practice in order to achieve the famous blue colour of the gem.

How do I know if Tanzanite has been heated or not?

Determining whether Tanzanite has been heated or not has proven to be a challenging task. Most professionals are also under the assumption that the majority of the Tanzanite in the world has been heated in one way or another. 

An honest seller will disclose if the gem has been heat-treated. Heat treatment has a significant effect on the stone's value. Don't worry the Tanzanite quality won't be affected by it.

As with most coloured gemstone, the deeper the colour, the higher the value. Untreated Tanzanite is typically brownish in colour, and while they are not considered to be the best there is, many people who prefer softer colours will gladly go for the softer coloured Tanzanite.

The advantage of a heat-treated Tanzanite is that it holds its colour and is unlikely to fade under normal light and temperature exposure.

2. Clarity

A gemstone clarity refers to the number of inclusions or flaws found in the stone. Inclusions and/or flaws occur naturally and have an effect on the value of gemstones. A gemstone with less or no inclusions has more value as compared to one with inclusions and/or flaws.

Like Diamond, the clarity of Tanzanite is graded ranging from Internally Flawless (IF) to Included. Below are known clarity grades of Tanzanite:

Why does clarity matter?

Think of inclusions as wanna-be-cracks in a gemstone. They put the gem at risk of developing cracks and eventually resulting in breakage. This can lower the value of a gemstone greatly. It is only logical that high gemstones with higher or perfect clarity are more rare and valuable.

For Tanzanite and other coloured gemstones, unlike in diamonds, the concern is mostly placed on whether the inclusions are visible to the naked eye. There is less regard to the number of inclusions visible under the scope.

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA), classifies tanzanite as a Type I gemstone, which means it is usually flawless to the naked eye. This means that a Tanzanite with flaws visible to the eye is quite rare to find and will be lower in value. Most of the Tanzanite sold for jewelry has inclusions that can only be seen under magnification

3. Cut

The Cut refers to how the tanzanite has been shaped to optimize its beauty. Cutting has an effect on what colour the consumer will see afterwards.

This makes cutting a thorough and precise procedure as it may affect the colour/beauty of the product, thus its value.

Deciding how to cut a Tanzanite is making a financial decision by itself. A cut has an impact on colour and some weight might be lost in the process. Those two factors, colour and weight are considerable factors in determining the value of Tanzanite.

Cuts to achieve a violet-purplish colour wastes less weight as compared to cutting to achieve a violet-blueish colour. That is why violet-purple tanzanites are readily available than those with a stronger blue colour.

4. Carat

Tanzanite is measured in terms of Carat Weight. One carat has 100 points and weighs 1/5 of a gram. Naturally the higher the carat, the higher the cost. If a Tanzanite is larger in size and its colours and clarity are optimum, its value grows even further.

The weight of Tanzanite stones varies depending on the stone’s depth. “Face up” measurements (length x width) are the best way to measure a Tanzanite’s visual size.

Tanzanite is available in a wide variety of sizes. The finest and deepest colours are usually seen in sizes over 5 carats. Smaller stones are often less intense in colour. For instance, if you have two stones of equal saturation, the larger one will have a richer colour.

Smaller stones are more available than larger Tanzanites. The most common faceted Tanzanites are under five carats and are widely used in commercial jewellery. Stone over fifty carats are available but rare and those with top-colour grade often end up in custom or designer jewellery.

Example of a Tanzanite online store selling Tanzanite Jewelry

What Other Factor to Consider when Buying Tanzanite Online?

Loose Stones vs Jewellery

Shall you buy a loose stone or Tanzanite Jewellery? Tanzanite can be bought as a single stone or as jewelry. The choice is yours. The advantage of buying loose stones is that you have more freedom of buying sets of stones that you can use to create sets of jewelry as you wish. Or maybe you just want to keep the stones as an investment.

Durability of Tanzanite

While tanzanite is undoubtedly beautiful, it can also be very delicate and not suitable for all uses. Tanzanite is best used in jewelry items that will not encounter abrasion and impact such as earrings and pendants. Tanzanites may not be suited for rings especially if you intend to wear the ring on a daily basis, best to leave the ring for special occasions. To reduce abrasion and impact, select jewelry whose design is set to protect the stone.

Watch out for Imitations

Tanzanite is no exception when it comes to imitations. A few manufactured materials such as synthetic forsterite (a mineral in the olivine solid solution series) have a similar appearance to tanzanite. Others include Coranite; synthetic blue corundum that resembles tanzanite, Tanavyte; a purple yttrium aluminum garnet and some blue glass has also been used as a tanzanite imitation.

Imitation materials cannot legally be sold as "tanzanite." They must be labeled in a way that gives the buyer a clear understanding that the item being purchased is not natural tanzanite - it only "looks like tanzanite."

Luckily, there aren’t any synthetic Tanzanites (yet). Seeing how the world will be short of Tanzanite in a few years, it is only expected that someone out there will figure out a way to make Synthetic Tanzanite. When we get to that stage, you may want to check if you are getting an original Tanzanite or a synthetic one.

Coatings

Some coatings of cobalt have been applied to some pale-coloured tanzanites to improve their colour. An experienced jeweler should be able to recognize coated Tanzanite and inform the buyer accordingly. But don't take chances, add coating to your list of questions to the seller to be sure.

Origin.

Unless you are okay to buying an heirloom a.k.a a second hand Tanzanite, ask for Tanzanite whose origin is Tanzania. Well, this should be simple, given that the only source of Tanzanite is Tanzania.

Read the return policy.

This is important when buying tanzanite online. Be sure to check the return policy in case what gets delivered to you looks nothing like what you saw online.

Select the right accompanying items.

Metal preference can also affect the cost. Usually, 10K gold is lower priced than 18K gold; both yellow gold finish, as well as white gold. The colour of a tanzanite is always enhanced by white gold. If you are choosing Tanzanite and diamond jewellery, choose diamonds of a lower colour and tip the costs. Such small diamonds don’t need certification necessarily.

If not sure, Build your own.

If you prefer Tanzanite jewelry over loose stones, a great way is to customize your design online. Most sites offer to customize jewelry, and you can choose the tanzanite and its accompanying gold/diamond according to your budget.

Cool Tanzanite facts:

Having gained a lot of popularity in recent years, Tanzanite has now become one of the most sought-after gemstones. It is used to make various types of jewelry such as Tanzanite rings, pendants, earrings, and bracelets. The gemstone tends to be delicate and can easily crack if dropped or scratched. You should consider this when you buy Tanzanite jewelry as it is important that you have an idea of how to take care of the gemstone.

Tanzanite Jewelry Stability and Durability

Tanzanite is a stable and durable stone that can be worn under normal conditions. The stone is normally heated to change its color from brownish to a blue/purple hue. The gemstone can be quite delicate. It's important that you don't subject it to sudden temperature changes. 

Re-Polishing Tanzanite 

You can restore your scratched Tanzanite back to its former glory by having it polished. A good and reputable lapidary should be able to remove scratches and dullness from your gemstone and there will be no loss of weight once it is re-polished.

How do I store my Tanzanite Jewelry?

To stop your tanzanite from rubbing against other jewelry and getting scratched, it is advised that you store your tanzanite separately in a pouch or box.

Where can I set a loose Tanzanite?

If you ever had a loose tanzanite and you need to set it back to its original form, it is advised that you choose a good and reputable jeweler. The jeweler should understand the stone structure of Tanzanite and have experience working with the gemstone.

Caring for your Tanzanite Jewelry

Tanzanite pendant jewelry

When you decide to clean your Tanzanite, you have two choices which include taking it to jewelers or cleaning it your self. If you decide to make use of a jeweler, it is important you meet him/her and ask questions to be sure you can trust them with your piece. Walk away if you feel unsafe about entrusting your investment with the jeweler.

The next option to consider is cleaning it yourself. Before you start cleaning you need to remember that tanzanite is a rare and delicate stone that can crack or scratch easily. Warm, soapy water is always safe to use in cleaning your Tanzanite.

How to Clean Your Tanzanite Jewelry

The first thing to bear in mind about the cleaning process is to never clean it using harsh chemicals. Always read the ingredients used in the making the cleaning product. The safest method of cleaning your tanzanite is by using warm soapy water. 

Ultrasonic cleaning involves the use of sound waves to break down the dirt particles on the surface of the jewelry. Most jewelers make use of these devices to wash gemstones and jewelry. You should avoid using these devices to clean your Tanzanite jewelry. The stress that these cleaners put on the stone can cause some serious damage. 

The best method for cleaning your tanzanite jewelry when it gets cloudy is to soak it for 20-30 minutes in warm soapy water. After that use a clean and soft cloth to gently rub around the stone and dry off excess water. In order to clean the band of your rings or get into small crevices make use of a Q-tip.

Additional Tanzanite Care tips

For many centuries, diamond has been the most common and sought-after gemstone. Unknown to a lot of people, there is one gemstone which is sought-after than diamond, Tanzanite!  This rare stone is only found near majestic Mount Kilimanjaro.

People know Tanzanite for its beauty. It's poised lush blue, vibrant violet and rich purple appearance.

A Brief History of Tanzanite

Legend has it that this stone first came into existence approximately 585 million years ago after the Mererani hills were set ablaze by a bolt of lightning. According to the Maasai tribesmen, the effect of the heat on the brown zoisite crystals brought about the blue color of the rare crystals. The world’s most sought-after gem was discovered by Ndugu Jumanne Ngoma in 1967.

Shortly after its discovery, Tiffany & Co found out about this new gemstone. They Introduced it into the market and attributed a lovely name to it which pays tribute to the land of its birth. This gemstone is hugely sought after, popular and is the most beautiful stone to be discovered in 2000 years.

A search for the Boudin

Tanzanite is recovered from pegmatite veins that have become so stressed and broken down into tiny and smaller pieces called boudins. These gems are found within small pockets inside the boudins. The goal of Tanzanite mining is to find these small pockets. Not every pocket will contain the gem, some might contain minerals such as fools gold, pyrite and quartz.

Setting up the Explosives

Originally, the gemstone was collected on the surface but the continuous and vigorous Tanzanite mining quickly gave way to pits and now tunnels which are about 1000 meters beneath the surface. During the mining process, the rocks are broken into medium or small chunks using explosives such as dynamite.

Big Boom

Loud sounds and ground vibrations are felt from the mining site once the explosives are set off. A big boom is heard then felt even from far distances. Once this process is done, Oxygen pipes are usually put into the mines to let in fresh air. These pipes remove the CO2 and bring in O2.  The next process involves sorting the gemstone from the raw stones.

Sorting the Tanzanite from the rest

Sorting of the gemstone from the other materials can be a daunting task. Tanzanite can be sorted both manually and by using an automated optical-sorting and primary grading system. When sorting the rough tanzanite, several steps are involved before one can achieve a gem worth selling.

The first step involves picking the gems from their shaft. Once that is achieved, the gems are taken to the sorting house where they are cleaned and weighed. The non-Gem materials are then removed from the gems, after which the gems are cobbled and graded into various groups.

Good quality gems are processed more for color, clarity and carat grading. Once the gems have been graded and sized, they are packed and ready to be sold.

What Happens to the Spare Minerals?

The spare Tanzanite materials are taken back to laboratories by companies. These materials are tested to see if they can be heated to become high-quality gemstones. There are also some minerals that might be found with the Tanzanite stone. Here at Tanzanite Experience, we keep these minerals on display in our museum to educate people about everything Tanzanite.

Why Source Tanzanite from Tanzania?

Tanzania is the world’s largest and only producer of tanzanite. These rare gem deposits are known to be confined to a few square miles of land in northern Tanzania and it is the only gemstone which has a large growing popularity and a limited known supply.

Sourcing and buying Tanzanite from trusted dealers in Tanzania helps support the country’s economy. You’ll also be getting stones and jewelry from the source, so you can be sure you’re getting the best quality Tanzanite at the best price.

You can take a look at the below video (from min 3:30)  to see how tanzanite mining is carried out in real life.

Conclusion

Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral zoisite and its different varieties range from blue to violet, or purple in color. This gemstone is best described as ‘a rare Precious stone’, it is 1,000 times rarer than diamonds.

The Tanzanite jewelry is highly valuable and sought-after, both for the gem’s uncommonness, as well as its exquisiteness.

Ever since Tanzanite, a rare blue gemstone today was first discovered in 1967, it has been admired for its truly unique beauty. The beautiful blue Tanzanite stone traces it's way back to Tanzania, at the base of the mighty Mt. Kilimanjaro.

What most people don’t know is that ‘Tanzanite’ is a commercial name for the ‘Blue Zoisite’, coined by the very famous Tiffany and Company. Some people refer to Tanzanite as the Birthstone for December, but the world recognizes it as the sparkling rare blue gemstone.

What is Tanzanite?

Tanzanite is a part of the Zoisite minerals family or the silicate family. The Zoisite mineral can naturally be found in many shades and hues like pink, green, blue etc. or may even be colorless.

The Tanzanite Stone lies between shades of blue to a purple-bluish tinge. Although it is not as old as the other gemstones, Tanzanite has been recognized as the 2nd most admired and popular gemstone.

The popularity of Tanzanite can be attributed to its rare color and the fact that a globally reputed brand like Tiffany, strongly vouched for it.

Tanzanite is a rare multi-dimensional color gemstone that reflects vibrant hues of blues and violets. What makes this one of the rarest gemstones is that the likelihood of finding tanzanite anywhere else except the Mererani Hills in Arusha,  Tanzania is almost impossible.

Learn the history of this rare blue gemstone

The history and lore surrounding Tanzanite

Tanzanite comes from a legend which says that when lightning struck the foothills of the Mererani Hills, a wildfire engulfed the grasslands around the area.

Once the fire died, the local herders returned to the area and discovered what was left behind were sparkling blue stones; the rare gemstone we call Tanzanite.

It was later discovered by a Portuguese geologist who studied the stone and found out that it was a Zoisite mineral. Tiffany and Co. took over the stone and introduced it to the world.

Today, other smaller gemstone dealers are also legally mining and supplying Tanzanite. However, it’s not available in very large quantity and only a hundred and fifty miners have been granted the license to mine it.

The Tanzanite birthstone was declared as a birthstone for December by the American Gem Trade Association in 2002. It is the birthstone for the zodiac signs, Aries and Pisces. Tanzanite shares its birthstone of December status with 2 other blue gems, Turquoise and Zircon.

This rare blue gemstone has also gained a significant position in Feng Shui, signifying purity and strength. Keeping this rare blue gemstone in a room is believed to attract calmness and peace.

Its presence in the workplace is believed to relieve stress and maximize productivity. Tanzanite has also found its place in the world of healing crystals, spiritual energy stones, Chakra healing stones and also for physical healing.

Tanzanite mining

How is Tanzanite mined?

Tanzanite is mined and found in a very small region that is spread across just 4 km in width and 2 km in length.

After the Tanzanite stone was discovered in 1967, approximately 2 million carats of the rare blue gemstone were mined in Tanzania. These mines were then nationalized by the government of Tanzania in 1971. There is only a limited resource for Tanzanite and thus a streamlined mining process had to be put in place.

In 1990, the government of Tanzania divided the mining area into 4 categories namely Blocks A, B, C and D. The blocks were divided between the large operators and the local miners. For instance, The Tanzanite Experience has its mine located in Block D.

However, the rapid pace at which tanzanite is being mined may soon lead to the depletion of the gemstone and a complete exhaustion of the supply. It is thus also referred to as the “gemstone of a generation”.

Tanzanite Vs Other Minerals (Diamond and Sapphire)

Tanzanite is not the only blue gemstone, but is considered unique and exclusive because of its very rare ‘blue’. The range of blue tones that the Tanzanite stone offers is unique to it and sometimes a violet or purple tinge may also be seen.

In comparison to other minerals, like Diamond or Sapphire, Tanzanite stands out. Although Sapphire is still the most popular blue gemstone, and Tanzanite is second, the fact that tanzanite is a much ‘newer’ stone adds to its popularity significance.

Another reason that may have enhanced Tanzanite’s popularity is that it is equally, and sometimes more beautiful, than Sapphire, yet costs much lesser. 

Additionally, Tanzanite is an all naturally created gemstone, as compared to the widely available Sapphire created in a lab. The raw, natural and authenticity of Tanzanite make it more attractive.

In comparison to a Diamond, Tanzanite is much cheaper and more ‘modern’. Original diamonds are extremely expensive and what you may pay for a tiny diamond could bring you a much larger Tanzanite.

While a diamond will always be considered as the ‘classic’ and ‘timeless’ gemstone, Tanzanite has a raw and very new look to it. The color, here again, makes it a popular choice.

The many properties of this rare blue gemstone

Properties of Tanzanite

A wide range of Chemical and Physical Tanzanite properties have been extensively studied by geologists and researchers. Let’s discuss the 3 most distinct Tanzanite properties:

Colors

It is the color of Tanzanite that is most distinctly unique to it. Although a rare blue gemstone, Tanzanite is actually a Pleochroic gem. Pleochroism is a physical Tanzanite property that allows the gemstone to appear to be a different color when viewed from different directions.

A single piece of Tanzanite can appear blue, violet or even red, depending on which direction we are looking from. Some can display 2, 3 or even more different shades from different directions.

A brilliant blue remains the most sought-after color of Tanzanite and also yields the highest value. Cutting a Tanzanite thus requires extreme skills to ensure that the blue color is maximized.

Durability

Tanzanite is a rare blue gemstone that looks beautiful in jewelry. However, the use of tanzanite must be restricted to jewelry that is worn on special occasion or ones that do not go under heavy abrasion or impact. Thus, earrings and pendants are preferred over rings.

The durability of a gemstone is measured in terms of hardness, or it’s scratch resistance. Tanzanite properties in terms of durability or hardness are about 6.5 on, which is low for daily wear as it may easily get scratched. However, the design of the ring, if made in such a way that the Tanzanite stone does not receive any direct pressure or impact, will increase its durability.

The other measure of durability is toughness or the breakage resistance. Every Tanzanite stone has at least one direction, which if directly impacted may lead to a break or chipping. However, as mentioned earlier, the design plays an important role in ascertaining direct impact to the stone.

The stone is also sensitive to extreme changes in temperature and may break as a result too. Our Tanzanite buying guide delves deeper into this concept. Taking caution while wearing tanzanite is thus required.

The third measure of durability for Tanzanite is color stability. Tanzanite scores well on this scale. However, like most gemstones, you must keep it away from acids or chemicals as they damage the stone. Tanzanite stones that have been heat treated are more stable and are not affected by normal exposure to light or daily temperature changes.

Size

Like most gemstones finding smaller tanzanite stones are much easier as they are available in abundance. The same can't be said about the large pieces of Tanzanite. Most available Tanzanite stones are around 5 carats. Tanzanite stones that are more than 50 carats are very rare.

The smaller stones are usually cut for commercial jewelry. On the other hand, stones that have a very distinct coloring are usually used for designer jewelry. Big Tanzanite stones that have a valuable distinct color are often bought by collectors, investors or even museums. In fact, the size of the Tanzanite also directly affects the color; the larger the stone, the larger the distance the light travels through it. Larger Tanzanite stones thus display a richer blue color.

beautiful tanzanite stones

Is it all heat treated?

Heat treatment is common practice for almost all tanzanite stones available in the market for commercial buying and selling. The heat treatment enhances the color or sometimes produces the rare blue color the gemstone is well known for. However, naturally blue colored Tanzanite stones can also be found with miners. Some buyers prefer the non treated tanzanite to the heat treated one.

Tanzanite found in the markets, in jewelry settings and otherwise, are all usually heat treated; and most customers and retailers prefer the heat treated Tanzanite for the improved color.

Real Vs Fake Tanzanite: How to Tell the real from the fake

A common question that both retailers and customers of rare gemstones have is, is it real or fake? It’s no secret that fake gemstones are as easily available as the real ones. So how can retailers and customers ascertain whether or not a tanzanite stone is real or fake?

When it comes to tanzanite, many people sell Forsterite instead, a mineral that can be produced in the color and with similar properties as the Tanzanite stone. Corantine is another blue synthetic stone that may be mistaken as Tanzanite.

When Buying Tanzanite, buyers must consider the 4 C’s that ascertain the quality, these are:

This includes hue and saturation. Tanzanite is very rarely only blue and usually has a tinge of violet. The stone color is always checked as a combination of both colors.

vB or violetish blue is used to denote Tanzanite that has 50% blue under white light. On the other hand, bV or bluish violet is used for one that is majorly violet. 

This includes the inclusions or the presence of any natural flaws within the stone. It ranges from lowest to highest- Heavily Included (HI), Moderately Included (MI), Slightly Included (SI) and Eye Clean (EC).

This includes the finish, proportion, shape and the brilliance of the stone. These cuts are categorized as Too Deep, Too Shallow or Well Cut. 

Refers to the weight of the gemstone. 1 carat is 1/5 of a gram and has 100 points. The depth of the stone also changes the carat weight, even though the stones may be identical.

Where Can You Buy Tanzanite?

If you are planning to buy Tanzanite, the beautiful rare blue gemstone, to add to your valuable possessions, it is important you deal with only reputable Tanzanite dealers who offer genuine goods. As discussed earlier, there are a lot of retailers selling fake Tanzanite, under the guise of being real, so if you are not too sure about how to test the quality, the safest bet is to buy Tanzanite from legal, trusted retailers such as Tanzanite Experience.

While you’re at it visit their museum, it's one of the many attractions in Arusha. In the museum, you get to learn more about this beautiful blue gemstone.

Tanzanite is one of the most unique and desirable gemstones that is currently available. It is rare and precious. It can only be found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, East Africa region hence the name Tanzanite.

There are a few mining bases located around the Mererani hills at the foot of the mountain in the city of Arusha. According to experts, the current supply of gemstones is going down. This unique stone will be a rare commodity in the next 25 to 30 years making it the gemstone of the generation.

Chances are high that this will be the last generation to wear and buy Tanzanite gemstones as first time owners before the supply runs out. The gemstones limited supply have made it a thousand times more rare than diamonds making it all the more special.

The History of Tanzanite

Majority of the world’s most popular gemstones have been in existence and put to use for hundreds of years. Tanzanite, on the other hand, came into the limelight a few years ago. This is despite being formed about 585 million years ago and was not used in commercial quantities until the early 1960s.

In 1967, a Maasai herder came across the gemstones in Tanzania on the ground and he thought that they were just colorful sapphires which were later confirmed to be a new gemstone. New York’s celebrated jewelers Tiffany & Co. popularised the new gemstone about a year after its discovery and coined its new name Tanzanite. 

A Vibrant Stone

Tanzanite is trichroic in nature, which means that it can radiate different colors when positioned in different angles. For instance, under the midday sun it can radiate a blue hue and later on in the course of the day it will radiate different colors. These colors include yellow, purple and red all of which combined give it an overall vibrant purplish color.

Occasionally people can buy Tanzanite jewellery that is green or pink in color. However, the majority of Tanzanite jewelry being sold today has a blue color. The blue color of Tanzanite is caused by small amounts of vanadium within its zoisite mineral structure.

The heat treatment that Tanzanite jewelry goes through is very mild when compared to processes carried out for other stones including sapphires and rubies. You can visit a world-class Museum in Tanzania at the Tanzanite Experience to have a close-up view of the magical Tanzanite gemstones.

Aside from its vibrant color, Tanzanite gemstones are extremely durable that is why they are sold as earrings, pendants and other jewelry items. They are resistant to impact and abrasions and can last for multiple generations. They come in different sizes. The small stones are cut for sale and larger stones are showcased in showrooms to be purchased by collectors and investors.

At the scenic foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro lie the Merelani Hills, the only place in the entire world where Tanzanite is found. The area of the Tanzanite mine spans only 14 square kilometers.

How Tanzanite Was Formed

The groundwork for the grand entrance of Tanzanite into this world began 585 million years ago with continental shifts that created Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Rift Valley. Chemical processes, heating, and compression caused the formation of elongated pods known as ‘boudins’, which are the sediments that bear the unique Tanzanite today.

Learn the tanzanite facts of these beautiful gemstones

Some Tanzanite Facts You Should Know

It's a rare Gemstone

The circumstances that led to its formation were so exceptional that it’s hardly likely to find Tanzanite anywhere else in the world. This makes it a thousand times rarer than diamond.

It's known as the Gemstone of the Generation

Tanzanite is also very limited in supply and it is estimated that the world will run out of its Tanzanite stockpile within the next two decades or so. Tanzanite is thus known as the “gemstone of the generation” after the current generation, Tanzanite stones will no longer be bought from the primary market.

Tanzanite is a rare gemstone and it's beautiful. Take advantage of the current circumstances and get you or your loved one this precious stone. A reputable Tanzanite dealer can get you jewelry and gemstones of high quality. In addition, a certificate of authenticity will also be provided with the purchase. You can read more about this in this Tanzanite buying guide. It's very important that you exercise caution when looking to purchase this rare gemstone.

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