Tanzanite is one of the most unique and desirable gemstones currently known around the world. Its rarity and preciousness can be directly linked to the exclusivity of its source. This deep blue-violet gems can only be found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite, thus, acquired its name as a symbol of pride for its country of origin, Tanzania.
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 has decrease significantly over the years. This unique stone will be a rare commodity in the next 25 to 30 years making it “the gemstone of the generation”.
There are high chances that this will be the last generation to mine, wear and buy first-hand Tanzanite gemstones before the supply runs out. The gemstone’s limited scarcity has made it a thousand times rarer than diamonds, making it all the more special.
The History of Tanzanite
In 1967, a Maasai herder came across the gemstones while walking near the foot of Mount Kilimankaro. He initially thought he had stumbled upon colorful sapphires, these stones were later confirmed to be a new variety of gemstones. New York’s celebrated jewelers Tiffany & Co. popularized the new gemstone about a year after its discovery and coined its new name Tanzanite as a token of its heritage.
The majority of the world’s most popular gemstones have been discovered and put to use for hundreds of years. Tanzanite, on the other hand, came into the limelight only a few years ago. Despite being formed about 585 million years ago, the gem was not unearthed and used in commercial quantities until the early 1960s.
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 radiates a deep blue hue while later on in the course of the day, it will radiate different colors from intense violet to pale lavender and sky blue. These colors include blue, purple and red all of which combined give it a vibrant indigo color.
Occasionally people can buy Tanzanite jewellery that is green or pink in color. However, the majority of Tanzanite jewelry being sold today are of a blue color. The blue of the Tanzanite is caused by small amounts of vanadium within its zoisite mineral structure.
The heat treatment that Tanzanite jewelry undergoes is very mild in comparison to the processes for other stones including sapphires and rubies. The world’s only Tanzanite Museum at the Tanzanite Experience will offer you a close-up view of the magical Tanzanite gemstones, and its process from the raw stone to the mesmerizing gem.
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.