Tanzanite is the official birthstone for December.
Tanzanite is the suggested gift for the 24th wedding anniversary.
Tanzanite has been attributed with qualities of good luck and prosperity, and associated with celebrations of new life and new beginnings.
Tanzanite’s only known source in the world is a 4km strip of land near Mount Kilimanjaro, northern Tanzania. This single, limited source renders tanzanite at least a thousand times more rare than diamonds.
Though more affordable than diamonds, and around a third of the price of sapphires, tanzanite is an extremely valuable gem, with tanzanite rings, tanzanite necklaces and tanzanite earrings becoming investment pieces, appreciating every year.
Tanzanite is believed to have been formed about 585 million years ago, but it was only discovered in 1967.
It is a member of the zoisite family, but is unique because of its striking blue/violet colour.
Tanzanite is uniquely trichroic. This means that in its rough form, it radiates three different colours from each of its crystallographic axes: blue, violet and red. Once cut and polished, tanzanite ranges from electric violets to vibrant blues, deep royals and rich indigo's.
On the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, Tanzanite has a hardness of 6.5-7 which means it is a fairly soft stone. Because tanzanite is much softer than some other gems, it should be stored carefully. Tanzanite rings in particular are not recommended for everyday wear, as they are more likely to get damaged from knocks and bumps.
Tanzanite is becoming increasingly recognised as an heirloom due to its very limited supply and rarity.
Amongst the Maasai, the colour blue is seen as sacred and spiritual, and this coupled with its characteristics of new life have brought about a tradition where Tanzanite is given to Maasai women after the birth of a child as an offering of health, positivity and prosperity to the child.
Tanzanite is said to have many mystical and healing powers. It is believed to uplift and open the heart, and is also believed to assist in metaphysical healing.
The biggest tanzanite in the world is a single large crystal of 16,839 carats, well over 3kg. It has been named “The Mawenzi” after Kilimanjaro’s second highest peak.
Because tanzanite is only found in one small area in the world, and it is unlikely to ever be found anywhere else, gemologists believe that, in the next 10 to 20 years, no more tanzanite will be found. After it becomes depleted, there won’t be any more first time owners of the gem, and all tanzanite will become precious heirlooms.
The discovery of tanzanite has greatly impacted the Tanzanian economy.