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If you are born in December, you get to choose from three beautiful gemstones for your birthstone! Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone find but has already made it to the birthstone charts because of its fascinating color. It was named by Tiffany & Company to celebrate where it was found and became an instant success because of its vivid color, high clarity, and potential for large stones to be cut.

Tanzanite was found in 1967 by a Masai tribesman and was thought to be Sapphire because of the color. After gemological and geological tests were done, it was discovered to be a violet-blue to blue-violet variant of the mineral Zoisite. Zoisite is found in various places in the world, but it is brown in color. The only place in the world, currently, that Zoisite is found in beautiful blues that rival Sapphire is in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania!

One of the most interesting things about Tanzanite is that it is pleochroic which means that when viewed in different crystal directions, it can display different colors! Tanzanite can be red-violet, deep blue, or yellow-green in various crystal directions. Most Tanzanite is heat treated which reduces the yellow-green or brownish colors to enhance the blue and violet.

When you tilt a Tanzanite back and forth, you can see both the violet and blue colors, but fine quality Tanzanite is bluer and sometimes has flashes of red. Fine quality Tanzanite is often mistaken for Sapphire! More common is the violet to purple colored Tanzanite and can be significantly less in price, but even the color of purple is unlike any other gemstone.

Although Tanzanite rates a 6 to 7 on the Moh’s hardness scale (ability to be scratched), it rates fair to poor in toughness (ability to crack and break). All that means is that it is a gemstone that needs extra care, especially if you are wearing it in a ring. I wouldn’t suggest wearing it in your wedding ring because those are generally worn all the time.

I would love to help you with Tanzanite jewelry this holiday season! Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 24 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Book your FREE appointment with me today!

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