THE DECEMBER BIRTHSTONE
This month we celebrate the magnificent gemstone, Tanzanite - named the ‘December Birthstone’ in 2002. The fascinating and rare gemstone can only be found in Africa, Tanzania, at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro – the geographic origins after which the stone was named. After its discovery in 1967 the blue variety of the mineral zoisite has also become wildly popular due to its breathtakingly beautiful colour.
Formed around 585 million years ago, Tanzanite can be found in different shades of blue– from a pale to deep blue with violet undertones. The deeper the colour of the Tanzanite the more rare and sought after it becomes.
The optical phenomenon, trichroism causes the Tanzanite to reflect three different colours from different angles – blue, violet and red. This is why it’s extremely important for the gemstone to be cut accordingly so that the right blue and violet hues are reflected.
The gemstone is unique for its multidimensional colours. It’s also known for being the most beautiful gemstone discovered in the 20th century. Some people believe Tanzanite has healing powers due to its ability to integrate and activate the energies.
Tanzanite is a relatively soft stone. On the Moh’s Scale of Hardness it measures 6.5 – 7. Tanzanite earrings and pendants are suitable for everyday wear. Tanzanite rings on the other hand are better suited for special occasions and not for wear every day.
The unique gemstone was formed during the process of the regional metamorphism, and can be explained as follows: when tectonic plates collide with one another, the igneous rocks (rocks formed through the cooling and solidification of magma / lava) of each tectonic plate are morphed into one another by means of extreme pressure.
The rocks reach near melting point, and when this happens, they produce beautiful crystal structures. It is during this magical time that gems are formed, essentially, from the coming together of two plates.
The process in which the tanzanite is made is thought to be so unique, that geologists believe the chances of another collection of tanzanite being created are only about one in one million.
There’s no denying that Tanzanite has a lot of fascinating aspects. Today, tanzanite rings and other tanzanite jewellery creations are wildly popular. Not only do you get to purchase a unique gem, but you also get to take home a rich part of African heritage.
For a true Tanzanite experience visit a Shimansky store - home to the most beautiful tanzanite rings in South Africa.
The one of a kind gemstones are sourced directly from the Maasai tribe in Tanzania. And only the very best quality gems are chosen for each Shimansky Ayanda Tanzanite jewellery creation.
The collection comprises a variety of breathtaking rings, pendants and earrings.