The Lore of Tanzanite has caused a story to be told when selling this beautiful gem.
From Tiffany’s Lore to flooded mines. The 1967 discovery from the Masai Tribesman was actually stumbled upon. Bluish transparent crystals were revealed from the earth’s weathering. Thought as a discovery of Sapphire, but with specific gravity testing, it showed something else. As mines soon pop up the crystals were primarily naturally brownish. But, heating them, in a controlled environment made magic happen.
Once the industry realized that it was not, in fact, sapphire like many thought, Tiffany & Co. quickly made a deal to become its exclusive distributor.
The company gave it a name inspired by its country of origin and began marketing it with a major push in 1968. The stone increased in popularity almost immediately due to its high clarity, vivid color that can range from blue to violet to bluish-purple, and its potential for large cuts of stone.
“Untreated, tanzanite is typically brownish. Most blue tanzanite’s for sale today owe their color to heat treatment, which is what reveals its attractive pleochroic (many of the usual or expected characteristics) blues and violets. The blue crystals originally discovered by Masai tribesmen were an exception because they’d probably been exposed to a natural heat source within the earth at some point.
GIA tell us to exercise caution when wearing them (wait… almost not wear them?), … now that just temps us, doesn't it. But yes, it’s only a 6-7 on Moh’s hardness scale; it means they are soft-ish … but wearable …carefully.
A limited supply:
Tanzanite has only one source: it’s mined in the hills of Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania, on a strip of land that’s only about 4.5 miles long. TanzaniteOne Mining Ltd, owns the largest and most advanced mine at the site. “Geologists have said that at the current rate of mining, there will be no more tanzanite in the next 20 to 25 years,” said Hayley Henning of the Tanzanite Foundation, the nonprofit dedicated to promoting the gemstone. Here are some other beauties.
In the 90's stories were told of flooded mine's, and as a result, we watched the prices jump!Now we see a more controlled flow but seemingly smaller supply of gem qualities. Never the less, its a new birthstone gem! Can anyone guess which month? Well, lets just say that in the color zone of blues for birthstones, the "Blues" win it. For the Month of December it used to be Turquoise, then Blue Zircon and now Tanzanite. OK, enough with the color blue ... for birthstones, please!