Tanzanite is a unique gemstone. Find out Tanzanite facts, specialties and features here.
- Tanzanite Facts
- Tanzanite is a form of a mineral zoisite and blueish violet in color
- Formed some 585 million years ago
- Made up of calcium aluminum hydroxyl silicate
- Discovered in 1967
- Tanzanite is found only in ONE place in the world- Merelani Hills of Northern Tanzania, near the city of Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro
- Maasai herdsmen discovered the stone after a lightning strike cause a forest fire and heated up a few stones close to the surface. They traded it as sapphire, and it was later discovered to be a completely different stone.
- Mined in area four square kilometers wide, making it a VERY RARE Gemstone
- The reason Tanzanite comes in various shades of dark blue and violet is due to the doubly refractive property of the stone. A stone that is singly refractive, such as diamond, does not split the beam of light entering it into different colors, it instead acts as a prism and widens it. This is why the fire of a diamond comprises of all colors. Tanzanite, on the other hand, is doubly refractive in a very small spectrum. While other colors can be seen in the fire of a tanzanite, the way the light bends in a specific stone changes if the stone errs on the side of violet or blue.
- Hardness (resistance to scratching)- 6-7 on the Moh's Scale
- As a soft stone, Tanzanite should be treated very gently and carefully. The GIA suggests that Tanzanite rings and bracelets should be dress items, while pendants and earrings, which are less susceptible to contact with materials that can scratch them, are fine for daily wear.
- Orthorhombic in nature, relating to its different right-angle axes
- Unheated Tanzanite is Trichroic, meaning it gives off three different colors. Heated Tanzanite is dichroic, meaning it gives off two different colors. Unlike natural tanzanite, which may contain light green or brown hues, heated tanzanite is always between blue and violet.
- Valued by the depth of its color- deeper the color, more valued the tanzanite
- Weighed and sold in carats, equivalent to 1/5 of a gram
- Heated to 500°C (932°F) to develop its blue color.
- Unique for its multidimensional colors- radiates blue, violet and burgundy and sometimes, yellow
- Named Tanzanite after its country of origin by Tiffany's in 1968
- Known as 'the most beautiful blue gemstone to be discovered in 2000 years.
- Celebrated by the specialists as the 'gemstone of the 20th century.
- Declared as the 'December Birth-Stone' in 2002
- Believed to have the power to activate and integrate the energies and helps in metaphysical healing. It is believed to uplift and open the heart.
- Considered to be the traditional 24 th Wedding Anniversary Gift
- It is a Pleochroic Gem. Pleochroic gems display multidimensional color, making them far more gorgeous than gems that are merely monochroic or dichroic.
- The biggest tanzanite in the world is a single crystal of 16,839 carats, well over 6 lbs. It has been named “The Mawenzi” after Kilimanjaro’s second highest peak. It was found in the year 2005.