Tanzanite, also known as blue-violet zoisite, is one of the most popular stones used in jewelry and has been so ever since Tiffany and Co. first introduced the stone to the world in 1967. As a gem, tanzanite is 1,000 times rarer than diamonds and is one of the birthstones for December.
Tanzanite, as you may guess, is mined in Tanzania. In its natural form, tanzanite comes in a mostly opaque brownish color, but it is also found in other colors in very small quantities, ranging from more common pale greens, browns and yellows to the very rare pinkish tanzanites. The stone turns into its beautiful blueish violet color once it is heated. Heating is a common treatment for tanzanites and is accepted by the gem trade and gemstone testing laboratories such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), and Swiss based Gübelin Gem Lab (GGL).
Intensely blue colored stones are the highest value, and TopTanzanite aims to provide this to you at the lowest cost possible.
Tanzanite is a single source stone, which means that all of it only comes from one area, approximately 5 square miles, at the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro. In 1990, the Tanzanian Government split the mining area into 4 sections. Of these sections, Blocks A and C were leased to large operators, while Blocks B and D were reserved for local workers. All of these blocks are starting to run out of the best material, much of which has already been mined.
TanzaniteOne, the company contracted to mine Block C and the world’s largest tanzanite mining company, was ordered to stop operations in August 2019, two years after the government built a wall around the mines in order to control the flow of tanzanite out of the mining area. The reason given was due to the company’s failure to pay the miners for almost the entirety of the time the wall had been built. This means that the price of tanzanite is expected to sharply increase, so buyers should plan to buy sooner rather than later, when product demand begins to exceed the supply.
Some jewelers refer to this time as ‘The Tanzanite Generation, because the fortunate few who own this gorgeous stone, and anyone who buys it in the next few years, will be the first owners of this gem. Due to the extremely limited quantity of this gem, tanzanite might become a valuable gem that passes down estates, or becomes a precious heirloom passed down between generations.