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Learn About Tanzanite  
About Tanzanite:

“Found in just one place on earth, tanzanite is a relatively recent discovery. This blue variety of zoisite was named for Tanzania, the country where it was found, by Tiffany & Co. Because crystals show different colors depending on viewing direction, cutters can choose bluish purple or the more favored pure blue or violetish blue hue depending on how much weight they want to retain from the rough.”

  
“Tanzanite is the blue to violet to purple variety of the mineral zoisite. It is mined commercially only in one area of the world: the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, which is where it gets its name.”

“Tanzanite’s appearance is influenced greatly by its pleochroism, which is the ability of a gemstone to show different colors when viewed in different crystal directions. Tanzanite can be violetish blue—similar to a sapphire color—or much more purplish. Often, both the violetish blue and purplish colors are readily visible in a fashioned stone when it is gently rocked and tilted.”

  
HISTORY

“Tanzanite is relatively new to the colored stone galaxy. As the most common story of the tanzanite mining boom goes, in 1967 a Masai tribesman stumbled upon a cluster of highly transparent, intense blue crystals weathering out of the earth in Merelani, an area of northern Tanzania. He alerted a local fortune hunter named Manuel d’Souza, who quickly registered four mining claims.”
“D’Souza hoped that he’d been shown a new sapphire deposit. Instead, the deposit contained one of the newest of the world’s gems.”

  

“Although it’s a newcomer to the gemstone industry, tanzanite has quickly become one of the most popular colored gemstones.”

“Within a short time, 90 more claims appeared in the same 20-square-mile area. No one was quite sure what the beautiful crystals were, but everyone wanted to lay claim to the profits they were certain to produce. The new gem would eventually be known as tanzanite, and it would, at times, rival the Big 3 in popularity.”

“Tiffany & Company recognized its potential as an international seller and made a deal to become its main distributor. Tiffany named the gem after the country it came from, and promoted it with a big publicity campaign in 1968. Almost overnight, tanzanite was popular with leading jewelry designers and other gem professionals, as well as with customers who had an eye for beautiful and unusual gems.”

“The instant popularity of this transparent blue to violet to purple gem was tied to its vivid color, high clarity, and potential for large cut stones.”

  
MORE ABOUT THE STONE…

“Tanzanite.com was launched in 1996 as an extension of the 30 year family wholesale business in Tanzanite. With offices based in New York, Africa, Belgium, Israel, Thailand, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, the family has been able to maintain strong relationships with owners of Tanzanite mines as well as Tanzanite cutters from around the world.”

“The reputation of Tanzanite.com and the family behind it is one of implacable quality and reliability. We have obtained a great amount of the world’s finest quality of tanzanite throughout the years and continue to only buy the rare exquisite colors and clarities that the mines produce.”

“Although our the families main business is to sell to retail stores and fine boutiques from around the world, Tanzanite.com was formed to deal direct with the gem collector and the regular shopper who simply wants the best.”

  

WHAT TO LOOK FOR WHEN BUYING:

COLOR

“A deep saturated “sapphire” blue is tanzanite’s most valuable color, although some consumers favor gems with an intense violet blue hue. Exceptional tanzanites display an intense violetish blue with red flashes of pleochroic color. As with any colored gem, paler hues are more affordable.”


CLARITY

“Eye-visible inclusions decrease the value of tanzanite, particularly in lighter colored stones, where they’re more visible against the gem’s bodycolor. Any inclusions that might pose durability problems—such as fractures—lower tanzanite value greatly.”


CUT

“Tanzanite is available in a wide range of shapes but cushion and oval cuts are most common. Cutting orientation has a big impact on a gem’s face up color and its price. Cutting to emphasize a gem’s bluish purple color usually wastes less rough than cutting it to get a pure blue or violetish blue hue.”


CARAT WEIGHT

“Tanzanite is available as fine, larger pieces with strong color or lighter material cut to standard sizes for use in mass market jewelry. Tanzanite color is less saturated in smaller sizes. Gems must be above 5-cts. in size to have deep, fine color.”

  

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