Tanzanite, a recent addition to the galaxy of coloured gemstone is one of the most stunning gemstones, with an unusual beauty. It is said to be 1000th times rarer than the very popular diamond yet, it sells at a far lesser price than diamonds. ‘Tiffany & Co’. declared it to be the most beautiful stone found since the last 2, 000 years. Thanks to the marketing effort undertaken by Tiffany, tanzanite has over the years, rapidly soared in popularity and today has become one of the most coveted and admired gems. In addition, tanzanite’s mystical aura, due to the lovely colour it is blessed with has largely caught the attention of the people.
The name itself reveals the availability of the gem in a limited geographic origin. The term ‘tanzanite’ was coined by the vice-president of the very reputed Tiffany and Co. Henry Platt in the year 1969. It was named after East African state of Tanzania, the only place that is home to the tanzanite gemstone. The mines spans an area of around eight square miles in the Merelani Hills, located at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro, and at the city of Arusha. Though a soft gemstone, tanzanite is popularly used in jewellery like bracelets, necklaces, rings, earrings, pendants, engagement rings, eternity rings and even bridal set rings.
AG & Sons, known for housing some of the rarest gemstone, has an impressive collection of tanzanite gemstones. Given the huge surge in popularity of the gemstone, we have ensured that the best quality are available with us. While we do have an extensive collection of loose tanzanite, we also have jewelleries like bracelets, rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings in exotic tanzanite.
History and Lore of Tanzanite
The real discovery of tanzanite is still a matter of much speculation. Though there are several stories related to its discovery, legend has it that the Masai herders of the local Maasai communities, were the first to discover tanzanite. According to their stories, when the grasslands were set on fire by a bolt of lightening, the crystals on the ground turned into beautiful blue-violet gems due to the heat generated by the fire. Post the meltdown of the last cinders, local tribesmen, collected the mystical stones in their pouches in the hope that it would bring them a better life.
According to another version, it was Ali Juuyawatu, a local who belonged to Maasai tribe who found this fascinating blue-violet gemstone in the year 1967, and shared his discovery with Manuel D’Souza, a tailor and prospector, who was on a searching spree for rubies in the region. Manuel D’Souza initially assumed it to be sapphire though later discovered it was not. Thereafter, the stones were shown to John Saul, a consulting geologist and gemstone wholesaler of Nairobi who sent the stones to his father Hyman Saul. The latter took the stone to the Gemological Institute of America who declared it to be a gem variety of the mineral zoisite. However, Tanzanian government geologist of Dodoma, Ian McCloud was the first person to get the identification right of the stone.
Though scientifically named ‘blue zoisite’ the gemstone was later conferred with the name tanzanite by Tiffany & Co. Today, it owes its immense popularity and success to Tiffany and Co. whose marketing campaign created a new sensation all over the world. It soon went on to catch the attention of the American and European public. A pride of the East African country, Tanzania, tanzanite gemstone has within a short period of time became widely popular. In popularity, it today ranks after the ‘big four’, diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emerald. Because of its availability at a lower price than sapphire, it often stands as its substitute.
Due to the fact that it has only been recently discovered, there is not much history, superstition or legends associated with the gemstone. However, it is believed that the Tanzanian women, wear blue beads and fabric after giving birth so as to ensure good health and positivity upon their newborns. Today, it widely being mounted on jewelleries like rings, engagement rings, pendants, necklaces, earrings, bracelets, eternity rings and bridal set rings.
Formation of Tanzanite
It is said, that millions of years ago, metamorphic schists, quartzites, gneisses led to the creation of flat-topped isolated mountains in the vast stretch of plains and in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. The valuable crystals were created in deposits, inside these odd elevations. The large deposits occur in the Mozambique Orogenic Belt of the earth and were hidden in schists, marbles and metamorphic rocks. It is found along with vesuvianite, garnet and actinolite. It is also said to occasionally occur in hydrothermal veins. It remained hidden from men until the year 1967. Tanzanian geologist states, that the circumstances that led to the creation of tanzanite 585 million years ago were extraordinarily unique. Hence, the chances of its availability elsewhere on earth is one in a million.
Tanzanite is created from the Zoisite mineral. It is formed from aluminum, calcium and silica. In other words, it belongs to the silicate family and its chemical name is calcium, aluminium hydroxyl silicate. Its formation involves a complex and intricate geological processes. It is basically a result of irradiation of the reddish brown minerals at a temperature that ranges from 550 to 700 degree Celsius inside the surface of the earth.
Geologists are also of the opinion that given the current rate of mining, it is very likely that the supply will be depleted in the next 20-25 years. Tanzanite is therefore often described as the ‘gemstone of a generation’ because ideally this generation will be the last one to buy tanzanite gemstone. So if you are already a fan of this radiant gemstone, get hold of one soon as they look beautiful in rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants, bracelets, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings.
Sources of Tanzanite
As mentioned, tanzanite’s only source is the Merelani Hills, Arusha, Tanzania.
Tanzanite Colour and Properties
Tanzanite’s unusual and enchanting feature is due to the deep blue colour that ranges from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue. Tanzanite’s typical colour is blue with a tinge of violet, which is also its most coveted colour. Though the mineral zoisite is available in a bevy of colours like gray, colorless, pink, brown, blue, green and even violet, the term tanzanite is used to identify the blue to the bluish purple to the bluish violet varieties. Sometimes it also appears in colours like green. Owing to its radiant blue colour, tanzanite is often confused with Kashmir Sapphire.
A striking feature of tanzanite is its ability to exhibit the effect of trichroism. Trichroism refers to the presence of three colours in the stone. In other words, it radiates different colors when viewed from different angles. To elaborate further, when viewed under sunlight, it radiates a normal blue colour, but during the later part of the day, you can come across shades of yellow, purple, red with the overall colour a radiant purple. Under candlelight and light bulbs, the stone exhibits a soothing burgundy colour along with a brownish tinge. The larger the stone the more vivid will be its colour. The smaller stones on the other hand, exhibit what is known as pastel shades. The colour of tanzanite is due to the amount of chromium present in the stone.
Tanzanite is comprised of calcium aluminium silicate and thus, is not particularly hard. It measures 6.5 to 7 on the Moh’s scale of hardness. A relatively soft and brittle stone, it has a vitreous luster and with proper care it can last a long period of time. Hence, it makes an ideal gemstone for use in rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, earrings, eternity rings, engagement rings and bridal set rings.
Healing Properties of Tanzanite
Tanzanite has many mystical powers. It is known to change negative energies into positive energies. The stone helps the wearer to recognise their inner strength and helps them to come to terms with themselves. It helps the wearer to realise their ideas and thoughts and to develop trust in themselves. They are also known to help the wearer become more creative and expressive.
Tanzanite aids in physical health too. It is known to help one in strengthening the immune system, in detoxifying the blood, in improving vitality, in relieving headaches and in treating a number of psychological problems. It is also used to treat problems of the pancreas, spleen and heart. The stone helps in increasing fertility in women and treats problems related to testicles and ovaries. Prolonged contact with the skin, can relieve one of migraine, headaches and alcoholism. Tanzanite is basically a slow acting stone, hence, it is recommended to wear the stone for an extended period of time. The stone can be worn as rings, bracelets, engagement rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings, engagement rings, eternity rings and bridal set rings.
The Collection of Tanzanite at AG & Sons
AG & Sons is an ever growing organization with a sweeping array of gemstones to its credit. It is highly recognized for its colossal variety of gemstones of all types. You will find with us even the rare gemstone like tanzanite which is hardly found in the market. Apart from our collection of loose tanzanite gemstones, we also have tanzanite earrings, tanzanite bracelets, tanzanite necklaces, tanzanite pendants, tanzanite rings, tanzanite engagement rings, tanzanite eternity rings and tanzanite bridal set rings.