Tanzanite is a rare and precious gemstone found only in Tanzania. This exquisite stone, also known as zoisite, was first discovered in 1967 by a Maasai tribesman and has since become a highly sought-after jewel. Tanzanite jewelry is known for its deep blue-purple hue, excellent clarity, and exceptional luster. Its unique color and rarity have made it a symbol of beauty and luxury in the world of gemstones. In this article, we will unlock the secrets of Tanzanite jewelry and explore what makes it so special.
The History of Tanzanite
Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone when compared to others, such as diamonds and rubies. It was discovered in the northern hills of Tanzania near Mount Kilimanjaro in 1967 by a Maasai tribesman named Ali Juuyawatu. He found the striking blue-purple crystals while shepherding his cattle and brought them to a local gem dealer named Manuel D’Souza. D’Souza recognized the stones’ unique properties and realized that they were a new type of gemstone. He named them Tanzanite after the country where they were found.
The discovery of Tanzanite caused a sensation in the world of gemstones. Tiffany & Co., one of the world’s most prestigious jewelry companies, became the first to market Tanzanite in 1968. They recognized the gem’s beauty and potential and created a marketing campaign to promote it. This put Tanzanite on the world stage and made it a coveted jewel among collectors and connoisseurs. Today, Tanzanite is a well-established gemstone, and its popularity continues to grow.
How Tanzanite Jewelry is Created
Tanzanite is a form of zoisite mineral that is found in a rough, brownish-red color. It undergoes a heating process that transforms its color to a deep blue-purple shade. This heating process is essential to bring out the stone’s true beauty and is done at extremely high temperatures between 500 and 700 degrees Celsius.
Once the Tanzanite rough has undergone the heating process, it is then cut and polished to create the final product. In Tanzanite jewelry, the most popular cut is the cushion cut. This cut enhances the gem’s color and luster, making it more vibrant and attractive. Other cuts, such as the round cut or emerald cut, are also used to create Tanzanite jewelry.
Tanzanite jewelry is often set in precious metals, such as gold or platinum, to create a timeless and elegant piece. The metal setting not only protects the gemstone but also enhances its beauty. The settings can be simple or elaborate, depending on the designer’s preference, and can include diamonds or other gemstones for added sparkle and contrast.
The Four Cs of Tanzanite Jewelry
When it comes to evaluating Tanzanite jewelry, there are four Cs to consider: color, clarity, carat weight, and cut.
The primary factor that makes Tanzanite so unique and sought after is its color. Tanzanite is known for its blue-purple hue, which changes depending on the light source. The intensity of the color can vary, with darker shades being more valuable than lighter shades.
Clarity refers to the absence of inclusions or impurities in the Tanzanite gemstone. Inclusions can affect the stone’s appearance and value. Tanzanite with fewer inclusions is more valuable than those with more inclusions. Clarity is typically assessed using a magnifying glass or a loupe.
Tanzanite is measured in carats, with one carat equal to 0.2 grams. The carat weight of the Tanzanite gemstone can affect its value, with larger stones typically being more valuable than smaller ones.
The cut of a Tanzanite gemstone can affect its brilliance and beauty. The most popular cut for Tanzanite is the cushion cut, which enhances the gemstone’s color and luster. Other cuts, such as the round cut or emerald cut, are less common but can be equally beautiful.
Tanzanite Jewelry: Popularity and Demand
Tanzanite jewelry is increasingly popular and in demand among consumers worldwide. The unique color of the gemstone attracts both collectors and fashion-conscious individuals who desire something rare and different from traditional gems like diamonds, rubies, and sapphires. In recent years, high-end jewelry brands have added Tanzanite to their collections, further fueling its demand and popularity.
Tanzanite’s rarity has also contributed to its value and desirability. It is found only in Tanzania and is estimated to be nearly 1000 times rarer than diamonds. The limited supply of Tanzanite has kept its value high, making it a sound investment for collectors.
Caring for Tanzanite Jewelry
Like any other gemstone jewelry, caring for Tanzanite jewelry is essential to maintain its beauty and value. Here are a few tips on how to care for your Tanzanite jewelry:
– Store it separately: Ideally, store Tanzanite jewelry in a separate jewelry box or a cloth pouch to prevent scratches or damage from other jewelry pieces.
– Avoid direct sunlight: Tanzanite jewelry can fade or lose its color when exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods. It is best to keep it away from windows or direct sunlight.
– Keep it clean: Tanzanite jewelry can accumulate dirt and oil from daily wear. Clean it regularly with a soft cloth and mild soap solution to restore its shine.
– Protect it from chemicals: Tanzanite jewelry can be damaged by harsh chemicals, such as chlorine or sulfur. Avoid wearing it while swimming or using cleaning solutions.
Tanzanite is a rare and precious gemstone that has captivated the world of jewelry. Its unique color, clarity, and luster make it a sought-after jewel among collectors and fashion-conscious individuals. Tanzanite jewelry is increasingly popular and in demand, with high-end jewelry brands adding it to their collections. Caring for Tanzanite jewelry is crucial to maintain its beauty and value, and with proper care, it can be passed down as family heirlooms. Tanzanite jewelry is not only beautiful but also an excellent investment piece that can bring joy and value for years to come.