Semi Precious StonesTanzanite

Complete Guide To Tanzanite Gemstone

Discovered in 1967, Tanzanite is a stunning gemstone that is call for its interesting hues and mystical powers. From luxurious blue to rich violet, this exotic stone with its appealing colors has become quite popular amongst gem lovers in just a few years of its discovery.

The vividness of this gem has made it so desirable that it has become the second most popular blue colored gemstone, after the precious gem Sapphire. It was Tiffany & Co that named this member of Zoisite family as Tanzanite after its place of origin – Tanzania.


Origins and History


Discovery and Naming

Tanzanite was first discovered in 1967 by a Maasai tribesman named Ali Juuyawatu in the Merelani Hills of Northern Tanzania. The gemstone was initially mistaken for sapphire due to its striking blue color. However, subsequent testing revealed it to be a previously unknown variety of zoisite. The gemstone was named “tanzanite” by Tiffany & Co., in honor of its country of origin, Tanzania. This prestigious jewelry company played a crucial role in popularizing tanzanite in the global market.


Geology and Formation

Tanzanite is a member of the zoisite mineral group and owes its distinctive blue-violet hue to the presence of vanadium. It forms in metamorphic rocks under specific geological conditions, making its occurrence exceedingly rare. The primary deposit of tanzanite is located in a narrow, 7-kilometer strip of land at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. This limited geographical range contributes to the gemstone’s exclusivity and value.


Physical and Chemical Properties



Tanzanite is renowned for its trichroism, displaying three different colors—blue, violet, and burgundy—when viewed from different angles. The most prized tanzanite stones exhibit a rich, velvety blue color with violet undertones. The intensity of the color can vary, with deeper hues generally commanding higher prices. Heat treatment is commonly used to enhance the blue and violet tones, making the gemstone even more visually appealing.



Like other gemstones, tanzanite’s clarity is evaluated based on the presence of inclusions, which are internal characteristics formed during the stone’s growth. High-quality tanzanite is typically eye-clean, meaning it has no visible inclusions to the naked eye. Inclusions can affect the gemstone’s brilliance and value, with heavily included stones being less desirable.



The cut of a tanzanite gemstone significantly impacts its overall appearance and value. Expert cutting maximizes the stone’s brilliance and color play, making it more attractive. Popular cuts for tanzanite include oval, cushion, and pear shapes, although it can be found in a variety of other cuts as well. The precision and quality of the cut are crucial in enhancing the gem’s natural beauty.


Carat Weight

Tanzanite is available in a wide range of sizes, from small accent stones to large centerpiece gems. The value of tanzanite increases with size, particularly for stones over five carats. However, the relationship between size and value is not linear, as color and clarity also play significant roles in determining a gemstone’s worth.


Hardness and Durability

Tanzanite has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, making it relatively soft compared to other gemstones like sapphire or diamond. This means that tanzanite requires careful handling to avoid scratches and damage. Despite its relative softness, tanzanite is durable enough for everyday wear with proper care.


Valuation and Market Trends


Factors Affecting Value

The value of tanzanite is determined by a combination of factors including color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. The most valuable tanzanite stones are those with deep, saturated blue-violet hues, high clarity, and expert cuts. Large, high-quality tanzanite gemstones can fetch significant prices in the market.


Market Trends

Tanzanite’s popularity has fluctuated over the years, influenced by factors such as marketing efforts, new discoveries, and market demand. In recent years, there has been a growing appreciation for tanzanite’s unique beauty and rarity, driving up demand and prices. The limited supply of tanzanite due to its single-source origin also adds to its allure as a valuable gemstone investment.


Investment Potential

Given its rarity and increasing market demand, tanzanite has potential as an investment gemstone. However, like all investments, it carries risks, and potential investors should conduct thorough research and seek advice from reputable gemologists and jewelers. The long-term value of tanzanite may be influenced by factors such as new discoveries, changes in market demand, and economic conditions.


Tanzanite in Jewelry


Popular Styles and Settings

Tanzanite’s vibrant color makes it a popular choice for various types of jewelry, including rings, necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. It pairs beautifully with both white and yellow metals, offering versatility in design. Tanzanite’s unique hue complements a wide range of other gemstones, allowing for creative and stunning combinations in jewelry pieces.


Custom Designs

Many jewelry enthusiasts opt for custom-designed tanzanite pieces to create one-of-a-kind items. Custom designs allow for personal expression and the ability to incorporate specific preferences and styles. Skilled jewelers can work with clients to craft unique pieces that showcase the beauty of tanzanite in a personalized way.


Tanzanite Engagement Rings

Tanzanite has become an increasingly popular choice for engagement rings, offering a distinctive alternative to traditional diamond rings. Its vibrant color and rarity make it a unique symbol of love and commitment. However, due to its relative softness, tanzanite engagement rings should be worn with care and may benefit from protective settings.


Caring for Tanzanite Jewelry

To maintain the beauty and integrity of tanzanite jewelry, it is essential to follow proper care guidelines. Tanzanite should be cleaned with mild soap and water, avoiding harsh chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners. It is also advisable to store tanzanite jewelry separately to prevent scratches and damage from contact with harder gemstones and metals.


Metaphysical and Healing Properties


Spiritual Significance

Tanzanite is believed to have powerful metaphysical properties, making it highly valued in spiritual and healing practices. It is often associated with transformation, aiding in personal growth and spiritual development. Tanzanite is said to facilitate a deeper connection with higher consciousness and enhance psychic abilities.


Emotional and Physical Healing

In addition to its spiritual benefits, tanzanite is also thought to have emotional and physical healing properties. It is believed to promote calmness, reduce stress, and enhance mental clarity. Some practitioners use tanzanite to aid in physical healing, particularly in relation to the throat and immune system.


Chakra Alignment

Tanzanite is commonly associated with the throat chakra and the third eye chakra. It is believed to assist in clear communication and self-expression, as well as enhancing intuition and spiritual awareness. By balancing these chakras, tanzanite can promote overall well-being and harmony.


Synthetic and Imitation Tanzanite


Synthetic Tanzanite

Synthetic tanzanite, also known as lab-created or man-made tanzanite, is produced in laboratories using advanced technology to replicate the natural formation process. While synthetic tanzanite has the same chemical composition and physical properties as natural tanzanite, it is generally less valuable due to its artificial origin. However, it offers an affordable alternative for those who admire tanzanite’s beauty but are constrained by budget.


Imitation Tanzanite

Imitation tanzanite refers to materials that mimic the appearance of tanzanite but do not share its chemical composition or physical properties. Common imitations include cubic zirconia and colored glass. These imitations are significantly less valuable than genuine tanzanite and are primarily used in costume jewelry.


Identifying Genuine Tanzanite

To ensure the authenticity of tanzanite, it is crucial to purchase from reputable sources and request certification from recognized gemological laboratories. Gemologists use advanced testing methods to distinguish genuine tanzanite from synthetic and imitation stones. Buyers should be cautious of deals that seem too good to be true and seek expert advice when in doubt.


Famous Tanzanite Pieces and Cultural Significance


Notable Tanzanite Jewelry

Several notable pieces of tanzanite jewelry have gained recognition for their exquisite beauty and craftsmanship. One famous example is the “Queen of Kilimanjaro,” a stunning tiara featuring a large tanzanite centerpiece surrounded by diamonds. This remarkable piece showcases the elegance and allure of tanzanite in high-end jewelry design.


Tanzanite in Popular Culture

Tanzanite has made appearances in popular culture, including films, television shows, and celebrity jewelry collections. Its vibrant color and rarity make it a favored choice for red carpet events and special occasions. The gemstone’s association with luxury and sophistication has further solidified its status in the world of high fashion.


Birthstone and Anniversary Gem

Tanzanite was designated as an official birthstone for December by the American Gem Trade Association in 2002. This adds to its popularity as a meaningful gift for those born in December. Additionally, tanzanite is often chosen to commemorate the 24th wedding anniversary, symbolizing the enduring beauty and rarity of a long-lasting relationship.

Tanzanite’s captivating beauty, rarity, and unique properties make it a gemstone of exceptional allure. From its discovery in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro to its place in fine jewelry and spiritual practices, tanzanite has secured its status as a precious and revered gemstone. Whether appreciated for its stunning color, metaphysical significance, or investment potential, tanzanite continues to enchant and inspire gem enthusiasts around the world.

By understanding the origins, properties, and ethical considerations surrounding tanzanite, consumers can make informed decisions and appreciate the true value of this remarkable gemstone. Whether you are a seasoned gem collector or a jewelry enthusiast, tanzanite offers a world of beauty and intrigue waiting to be explored.

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