Named for Tanzania, where it was discovered in 1967, tanzanite is the blue to violet variety of the mineral zoisite. This exotic gemstone can be found in only one place on earth, northern Tanzania’s Merelani hills which lie in the shadows of majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. With its lush blues and vibrant violets, tanzanite has become one of the most popular colored gemstones used in jewelry today.
At 100 East Fine Jewelry, we love designing jewelry pieces using these luscious gemstones. Tanzanite is versatile in that it comes in a wide variety of sizes, shapes, and facet designs. While cushion cuts are commonly used for larger tanzanite pieces, oval mixed cuts, fantasy cuts, trillions, octagons and round cuts are also popular
Coming directly out of the ground, Tanzanite is commonly a brownish color. It’s heat treated to create the blue to violet color. The treatment is considered permanent. Trade professionals assume all tanzanite they encounter in the market has been heated in some way. 100 East Fine Jewelry along with other reputable dealers disclose any and all gemstone treatments to customers before purchase, so they can make an informed decision. While tanzanite is resistant to the effects of normal heat, light and common chemicals, it does have limitations. It’s not a particularly hard gemstone, has one direction of cleavage and is subject to thermal shock. It is best set in earrings, pendants and necklaces.
Tanzanite is one of the three December birthstones. To learn more about it, visit our Education and Resources page. There you can learn about gemstones, caring for your jewelry, cleaning fine jewelry and much more.