Tanzanite is a relatively new discovery to the gem and jewellery industry. Discovered in the early 1960s in eastern Africa, mineralogists soon identified it as a variety of the mineral species known as zoisite.
Initially, only small quantities of the gem were found (therefore meaning large-scale mining would not be cost-effective), but a few years after that first encounter, a prospector found a large deposit, so then giving the green-light for extensive mining.
It was Tiffany & Co who renamed the gem as Tanzanite – a nod to the country it was found (and the only known source) – Tanzania. Later in the 1960s, Tiffany aggressively marketed the gem, and within a very short time Tanzanite became extremely popular with designers and the public alike and has been almost constantly in-demand ever since.
Tanzanite is a “pleochroic” (from the Greek “having many colours”) gemstone – meaning it can show different colours when viewed from different angles. It is usually fashioned so that the dominant hue – normally purple or violetish-blue – is concentrated in the face-up view. Both hues are very popular and both vary in depth-of-colour.
Tanzanite is not as tough as many other gemstones, so therefore requires a little tender loving care. For example, Tanzanite should never be cleaned in many of the (often harsh) jewellery cleaning solutions – warm, soapy water will suffice. That said, if Tanzanite is cared for correctly, it will last for generations.
If you would like to know more Tanzanite, please feel free to get in touch with us at Finecraft Jewellers.
Or why not pay us a visit and browse our selection of Tanzanite jewellery?