December Birthstone - Tanzanite

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Tanzanite, blue topaz, zircon and turquoise all represent December’s birthstone. With tanzanite being a strong favourite for jewellery lovers we take a look at the gems short but important history. Tanzanite’s vibrant blue-purple colour eludes glamour and has become a very popular modern gemstone, due to it’s rarity and beauty!

The tanzanite gemstone has often been thought of as a ‘push present’, typically presented in jewellery form and gifted to those who have given birth!

With its luscious colour tanzanite is one of the newest gemstones to be discovered, only being discovered in 1967 when a deposit of blue gemstones was found by a Masai tribesman, in the Merelani Hills in Tanzania – the only place in the world that tanzanite is mined! Tanzanite is a violet-purple-blue variety of Zoisite which usually comes out the mine as a brown colour, needing heat treatment to reveal the beautiful colour within.

Tanzanite became famous when Tiffany & Co. saw the potential, named the stone and did a mass marketing campaign. Overnight the prices of tanzanite rocketed and started to compete with ruby, sapphire and emerald.

Tanzanite displays strong pleochroism. Pleochroism is where a gem shows different colours when viewed from different angles. Tanzanite displays three colours in three different crystal directions. The most valuable colour of tanzanite is a saturated medium blue which displays purple as a secondary colour. If your budget doesn’t stretch as far as the prized tanzanite there is plenty of beautiful tanzanite jewellery on the market which is a lighter blue/purple colour and still sure to turn heads.

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