in your bag 0 items
In 2002 the American National Association of Jewelers officially adopted tanzanite as a December birthstone. Tanzanite is the blue/purple variety of the mineral zoisite which was discovered in the Mererani Hills of Northern Tanzania in 1967, near the city of Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism, appearing alternately sapphire blue, violet and burgundy depending on crystal orientation.
Tanzanite can also appear differently when viewed under alternate lighting conditions. The blues appear more evident when subjected to fluorescent light and the violet hues can be seen readily when viewed under incandescent illumination. Tanzanite in its rough state is usually a reddish brown color. It requires artificial heat treatment to 600 grades of Centigrade to bring out the blue violet of the stone. Tanzanite is a rare gem. It is found mostly in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. The mineral is named after Tanzania, the country in which it was discovered.
Officially called "blue zoisite" it was marketed as tanzanite by Tiffany & Co., who wanted to capitalize on the rarity of the gem, then only found in Tanzania. From 1967 to 1972, an estimated two million carats of tanzanite were mined in Tanzania before the mines were nationalized by the Tanzanian government.
The world's largest faceted tanzanite is 737.81 carats. One of the most famous large tanzanites (242 carats) is the "Queen of Kilimanjaro". It is set in a tiara and accented with 803 brilliant cut tsavorite garnets and 913 brilliant cut diamonds. Because tanzanite is relatively soft, it is usually set in necklaces and earrings, so the tiara is truly a rarity. The tiara is currently on display in the Gallery of Gold and Gems at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The exhibition is from the private collection of Michael Scott, the first CEO of Apple Computers.