Discover the Elegance of Tanzanite Natural Stone: A Buyer's Guide to Quality Gems

Tanzanite natural rock, a gem found only in Tanzania, captures the admiration of connoisseurs with its vivid colors and limited availability. This guide provides an in-depth look into tanzanite’s distinctive qualities and origins, while also equipping you with critical knowledge on selection, investment, and care practices. Step into the world of tanzanite and learn what sets this precious stone apart.

Key Takeaways

Exploring the Allure of Tanzanite: A Rare Gem from Tanzania

Tanzanite gemstones in a rough form

Tanzanite’s allure lies in its rarity and captivating beauty. Unlike other gemstones found globally, tanzanite’s existence is confined to a small mining area in Northern Tanzania, near the famed Mount Kilimanjaro. This gemstone is brought to life through a unique geological formation process that is as rare as the stone itself. The formation of Tanzanite was largely influenced by the heat and pressure from tectonic movements that created Mount Kilimanjaro.

This delicate gemstone’s rarity is further magnified by geological conditions so specific that the chances of them occurring elsewhere are estimated to be one in a million. You’ll find no other place in the world where the charm of Tanzanite can be replicated. The combination of Tanzanite’s rarity, captivating colors, and brilliant radiance have placed it in high global demand, marking it a valuable addition to any gemstone collection.

The Discovery and Geography of Tanzanite

The story of Tanzanite’s discovery is as captivating as the gem itself. It was in 1967, on the surface of the Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro, that Maasai herders stumbled upon beautiful blue crystals. The prospector Manuel d’Souza, who initially mistook these blue crystals for sapphires, was taken aback by their uniqueness. It was later identified as a new variety of zoisite, and Tanzanite was born.

Tanzanite crystals were formed in this region due to the forcible merging of igneous rocks containing mineral-rich magma near Mount Kilimanjaro. This exclusive geographical origin has made Tanzanite a gemstone synonymous with the breathtaking landscapes of Northern Tanzania, and more specifically, Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tanzanite's Rarity and Global Demand

Tanzanite’s rarity stems from its single source near Mount Kilimanjaro in the Merelani region of Tanzania. The unique and exceptional geological conditions necessary for its formation are unlikely to occur elsewhere, further contributing to its Scarcity. This gemstone’s vivid violet-blue-reddish colors make it exceptionally sought-after in the gem market.

As the supply of Tanzanite diminishes, and the stone becomes increasingly mined out, its Scarcity escalates. The increasing Scarcity of Tanzanite, coupled with its diminishing supply, is escalating its value and demand. It is this scarcity and desirability that make Tanzanite an exquisite gemstone treasure.

Tanzanite's Physical Properties and Mohs Scale Rating

Tanzanite gemstone with pleochroic colors

Tanzanite’s physical properties are as intriguing as its history. This gemstone has a moderate hardness, ranging up to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, which is less than that of diamonds or sapphires. Although it possesses a softer composition, the allure of Tanzanite remains unfettered. Careful wearing and setting are required to prevent scratching or chipping due to its relative softness.

The value of a Pietra preziosa tanzanite is heavily influenced by its cut quality. A well-cut gemstone should maximize brilliance and minimize the creation of a window, while the highest clarity grade for Tanzanite, according to the GIA, is VVS, which indicates minute inclusions that are difficult to spot under magnification.

Color Spectrum of Tanzanite

Tanzanite gemstone with deep blue hue

Tanzanite is celebrated for its pleochroic palette of colors. It can showcase a mesmerizing range of colors, including red-violet, deep blue, and yellow-green tones. This gemstone’s trichroism is responsible for its ability to present different colors under varying light sources, especially the notable Red Flash Effect.

The intensity and saturation of Tanzanite’s color greatly enhance its value, with deeper hues being more valuable. Among these, blue axis Tanzanites that exhibit a deep blue color are considered the most valuable and command premium prices in the industry. Therefore, color quality is the most significant factor influencing the worth of a Tanzanite gemstone.

Clarity and Inclusions in Tanzanite

In the world of gemstones, clarity and impurities significantly affect a gemstone’s worth. Blue zoisite is no exception. Tanzanite stones without visible impurities are considered higher quality and command a premium. Clarity grades in Tanzanite range from:

Stones with significant eye-visible impurities decrease in value.

Inclusions are relatively common in Tanzanite, and minor inclusions like needles, feathers, and crystals do not necessarily diminish its desirability. Despite common inclusions, Tanzanite often exhibits exceptional transparency, allowing light to pass through the gem without significant obstruction. Gem cutters enhance Tanzanite’s clarity during the cutting and polishing process to minimize the visibility of any inclusions and improve the stone’s overall appeal.

Selecting Your Perfect Tanzanite: Cuts and Shapes

Consideration of the cut and shape of Tanzanite is necessary when selecting the perfect gemstone. Tanzanite stones can be cut into various shapes such as:

These different cuts enhance the inherent beauty of the stone. The cut quality plays a central role in determining Tanzanite’s value, with fine cuts able to command a premium for maximizing brilliance and color display over simpler cuts.

The shape or cut of Tanzanite does not inherently dictate its worth, whether you’re choosing a stone for an engagement ring or a statement necklace. The precision of the cut and its ability to enhance light return are significant indicators of quality.

Popular Tanzanite Cuts: Emerald, Cushion, and Round

When it comes to popular cuts, the round brilliant cut, with 57 facets, and the square-shaped princess cut, with up to 76 facets, are favorites. These cuts are known to maximize brilliance and sparkle, making them popular choices for many jewelry styles. The cushion cut, a square shape with rounded edges and about 64 facets, effectively maintains luster and brilliance by using more of the raw stone. Another elegant option is the emerald cut, which showcases a unique rectangular shape and stepped facets.

The precision of a Tanzanite cut, particularly its symmetry, is vital as it influences the stone’s positioning and the uniformity of its facets, thereby affecting the gem’s overall appearance and allure. Whether you opt for a classic round cut or a modern princess cut, the excellence of the cut is paramount in all shapes for both aesthetic worth and investment quality.

Choosing the Right Shape for Your Jewelry

Selecting the right shape for your Tanzanite jewelry can significantly influence the final look and feel of the piece. For example, oval and pear-shaped Tanzanite cuts can elongate the design of jewelry pieces, particularly enhancing pendants and earrings with an impression of length and elegance. On the other hand, heart-shaped Tanzanite cuts carry a romantic symbolism and demand precise craftsmanship to achieve perfect symmetry, making them a heartfelt choice for jewelry gifts.

The shape of a blue zoisite gemstone lends a unique aesthetic character to the jewelry piece, thereby creating a distinct personal style statement. Whether you’re choosing a gem for a bespoke engagement ring or a statement necklace, the shape you choose for your Tanzanite will contribute significantly to the piece’s overall appeal.

The Versatility of Tanzanite Loose Stones in Custom Jewelry

Tanzanite’s versatility lends itself beautifully to custom jewelry designs. The purchase of loose Tanzanite gemstones offers the unique opportunity to create personalized jewelry pieces. Whether set as a solitary stone in a pendant or paired with other precious gems in a luxurious necklace, Tanzanite provides a canvas for creativity and individual expression.

Pairing Tanzanite with Other Precious Gems

The deep blue and violet hues of Tanzanite make it a perfect gemstone to pair with other gemstones. Some options for pairing Tanzanite include:

These combinations provide a range of options for creating beautiful and unique jewelry pieces.

When pairing Tanzanite with other gems, one must consider the overall design. The pairing should create a balanced and aesthetically pleasing jewelry piece. The blue and violet tones of Tanzanite can appear more intense when set alongside other colored gemstones, making the design more visually striking.

Metal Combinations That Complement Tanzanite

Just as Tanzanite shines when paired with other gemstones, so does it stand out when set in various metal combinations. Silver and platinum settings complement the cooler tones of Tanzanite, effectively highlighting its deep blue to violet hues. For stones on the lighter end of the spectrum, rose gold can accentuate the warmer undertones in Tanzanite, creating a visually striking contrast.

Platinum and white gold are elegant choices that augment Tanzanite’s sophistication, making them excellent for high-end jewelry pieces. The choice of setting can significantly influence the final look of the Tanzanite jewelry, contributing to its overall appeal and worth.

Investment Potential of Tanzanite Gemstones

Tanzanite is not only a gemstone of unparalleled beauty but also a potential asset. The existing supply of Tanzanite may be depleted within the next few decades, emphasizing its Scarcity and fuelling its investment appeal as it becomes a ‘gemstone of a generation’. The demand for Tanzanite is on the rise, especially in the United States, due to consumer interest and marketing efforts, and the trend is expected to grow further with emerging markets such as India and China showing interest.

Economic theories predict a significant increase in Tanzanite prices due to heightened demand coupled with the diminishing supply. Some investors and gemologists believe its true investment value will be realized after the mines are depleted. Tanzanite is considered a tangible asset that can be appreciated visually and financially, solidifying its status as a viable investment gemstone.

Assessing Tanzanite Quality for Investment

If considering Tanzanite as an investment, one should prioritize high-quality ratings. Exceptional color saturation in Tanzanite, which occurs in only 1% of production, significantly increases its investment worth due to Scarcity. Clarity is also a crucial factor. Tanzanite with higher clarity is more desirable for investors.

Investment-grade Tanzanite:

Tanzanite Collections as Financial Assets

Building a collection of high-quality Tanzanite can serve as a financial asset due to the scarcity of large stones and the potential high value of very fine smaller stones. Tanzanite collections geared towards investment should prioritize stones with high quality ratings of 950 or above on a 1000-point scale, taking cut, clarity, and color into account.

When curating a Tanzanite collection, it’s important to:

Care and Maintenance of Tanzanite Stones

To maintain the beauty and worth of your Tanzanite gemstone, proper care is of utmost importance. It’s important to ensure the purchase of Tanzanite is made from reputable sources to confirm its authenticity and quality, especially with the presence of cobalt-coated Tanzanites.

Cleaning Techniques for Tanzanite

Maintaining the cleanliness of your Tanzanite is a significant aspect of its care. Here are the steps to clean your Tanzanite:

  1. Soak the Tanzanite in warm, soapy water for 20-30 minutes.
  2. After soaking, use a soft toothbrush to gently clean around the stone.
  3. For tougher grime, you can use vinegar or a paste of baking soda and lemon.

Remember to clean your Tanzanite twice a year or more if worn frequently.

Once cleaned, use a soft cloth to polish the Tanzanite, enhancing its shine. However, it’s crucial to avoid using ultrasonic or steam cleaners and steer clear of harsh chemicals to prevent damage to Tanzanite jewelry.

Protecting Tanzanite from Wear and Tear

While Tanzanite is a strikingly beautiful gemstone, it is also delicate and necessitates protection from wear and tear. Tanzanite engagement rings should be worn with care to avoid rough wear and hard knocks from activities like gardening, household chores, or gym activities. It is not advisable to wear Tanzanite regularly, especially in rings, as it can be exposed to wear and tear from house chores, leading to potential damage.

To preserve the shine and luster of Tanzanite jewelry, it is crucial to:

The Symbolism and Healing Properties of Tanzanite

Tanzanite, apart from its physical beauty, is a gemstone rich in symbolism and possesses healing properties. Tanzanite is symbolically linked with:

These properties make the tanzanite crystal a powerful and meaningful semi precious gemstone.

Enhancing spiritual connections, Tanzanite heightens psychic abilities, facilitating communication with higher spiritual entities. It also has healing properties that aid in treating skin and hair conditions, detoxifying blood, increasing vitality, and helps in overcoming addictions.

By promoting emotional well-being and harmony, Tanzanite exudes a soothing energy that calms the mind and relieves stress.

Summary

From its alluring color spectrum to its potential as a financial asset, Tanzanite’s captivating beauty, rarity, and unique properties make it one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. Whether you’re considering Tanzanite for its investment potential, its symbolism and healing properties, or simply the sheer beauty of the stone, one thing is certain: Tanzanite is a gemstone of a generation.

Domande frequenti

Is tanzanite a natural stone?

Yes, tanzanite is a natural stone formed over 585 million years ago in a unique geological environment, and it has not been successfully synthesized in a lab (2020).

Why was tanzanite banned?

Tanzanite was banned for export in its rough form to encourage local processing and boost the economy by increasing revenue for the gemstone's home country. This legislation aims to spur development of cutting and polishing facilities within Tanzania.

Is tanzanite really valuable?

Yes, tanzanite is really valuable due to its rarity and limited source which makes its price per carat range between $100 and $800, depending on the quality.

How can you tell if tanzanite is natural?

To determine if tanzanite is natural, observe the gem in natural light for a blue hue with a hint of purple, and then place it under incandescent light to see if the color changes. This is a reliable way to check its authenticity.

What makes Tanzanite so unique and valuable?

Tanzanite is valued for its rareness, captivating color, and diminishing supply, making it a unique and valuable gemstone.