Tanzanite Gemstone: A Jewel of Rare Beauty
Tanzanite, a captivating gemstone known for its striking blue and violet hues, holds a special place in the world of fine jewelry. Named after its country of origin, Tanzania, tanzanite has garnered a reputation as a gemstone of rare beauty and unique appeal.
A Kaleidoscope of Blue and Violet
Tanzanite's remarkable color range spans from deep, velvety blue to intense violet, with many stones displaying captivating combinations of both colors. Its trichroic nature means that it can exhibit different colors depending on the angle from which it is viewed, adding to its allure. Tanzanite's color makes it a favorite among collectors and designers alike.
Historical Significance and Discovery
Tanzanite is a relatively recent addition to the world of gemstones. It was first discovered in the Merelani Hills of northern Tanzania in the 1960s. Tiffany & Co., the renowned jewelry company, played a pivotal role in introducing tanzanite to the market and giving it its name.
Tanzanite in Modern Jewelry
Since its discovery, tanzanite has captured the imagination of jewelry designers and enthusiasts. Its vibrant blue and violet hues make it a popular choice for various jewelry styles, from elegant pendants and rings to exquisite earrings. It pairs harmoniously with diamonds and other gemstones, creating stunning and distinctive jewelry pieces.
Attributes of Tanzanite
- Origin: Tanzanite is found exclusively in Tanzania, particularly in the Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro. This limited geographical source adds to its rarity and desirability.
- Color: Tanzanite's color range encompasses hues of blue and violet, often with flashes of pink or red. It is classified into three categories: blue, violet, and bluish-violet.
- Refractive Index: Tanzanite typically has a refractive index ranging from 1.691 to 1.700, contributing to its brilliance and fire.
- Chemical Composition: Tanzanite is a member of the zoisite mineral group and consists of calcium aluminum silicate with hydroxyl.
- Hardness: With a hardness rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, tanzanite requires careful handling to prevent scratches.
- Crystal Structure: Tanzanite has an orthorhombic crystal structure, forming prismatic crystals.
Value and Rarity
Tanzanite's value is influenced by factors such as color, clarity, carat weight, and cut. Deep blue and violet tanzanite gemstones with excellent clarity are the most highly prized and valuable. As tanzanite's supply is limited to a single source, its rarity adds to its allure.
Popular Cuts and Jewelry Styles
Tanzanite's remarkable color-shifting properties make it an ideal choice for a variety of cuts, including oval, round, cushion, and emerald. It is frequently featured in both classic and contemporary jewelry designs, often set as a centerpiece gemstone.
Care and Maintenance
Tanzanite, while beautiful, requires special care. It is sensitive to rapid temperature changes and should be protected from direct sunlight, as prolonged exposure may affect its color. To clean tanzanite jewelry, use mild soapy water and a soft brush, and avoid exposing it to harsh chemicals.
A Gemstone of Distinctive Beauty
Tanzanite's captivating color, remarkable rarity, and unique optical properties have made it a gemstone of distinctive beauty. Whether cherished for its connection to Tanzania, admired for its vibrant hues, or selected for its mesmerizing allure, tanzanite continues to capture the hearts of gemstone enthusiasts, ensuring its place as a cherished and treasured gem for generations to come.