Thanks to our love for everything sparkling, rare and aesthetic, we are familiar with most gemstones – from diamonds and rubies to emeralds and garnets. Yet every so often something new emerges, a previously unknown gemstone variant that surprises and enchants us. Tanzanite, an exotic gemstone found exclusively near the depths of imposing Mount Kilimanjaro, is poised between the shades of royal blue, rich purple and a pleasingly vibrant violet.
A relatively modern discovery, this blue-violet type of ‘zoisite’ mineral known as Tanzanite is related to the epidote group of minerals. The singular source of Tanzanite is in the Merelani hills of northern Tanzania.
The remarkably vibrant Tanzanite is actually rarer than a natural diamond as this mineral is mined commercially in only one location on earth. The earliest Tanzanite crystal was first identified by Ali Juuyawatu, a Masai tribesman. This stone owes its name to its unique place of origin and was named such by Tiffany & Co.
Tanzanite is a pleochroic crystal, a type of optical phenomenon where three different and distinct colours can be viewed in three directions when the crystal is tilted in various angles.
This 122.70-carat tanzanite is in the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Image: Chip Clark, courtesy Smithsonian Institution, GIA.com
Because Tanzanite crystals display a range of colours depending on the viewing angle, gemstone cutters have the opportunity to fashion polished gemstones with a range of hues varying from intense violet-ish blue to a more vivid bluish violet. This process also depends on the amount of weight a cutter wants to preserve from the stone’s rough size.
Since being unearthed in 1967, Tanzanite has become quite popular thanks to its royal colour. It has been recognised as one of the birthstones for the month of December, along with counterparts of turquoise, blue topaz and zircon.
Tanzanite is also used beyond the realms of jewellery, as this gemstone is believed to have certain healing energies. In its colourful and natural crystal state, a Tanzanite is said to kindle the crown chakra, third-eye chakra and throat chakra. It supposedly has the power to activate our psychic abilities to facilitate communication with the supreme power. It is said to be a stone of transformation that helps dissolve the existing painful patterns of karma and disease.
The four quality factors of colour, clarity, cut and carat weight determine the value of a Tanzanite gemstone. The price of a one carat AAA richly coloured Tanzanite is around US$350 to US$450 per carat.
The price goes up to US$700 or US$800 per carat if the size of the stone is bigger than three carat or more.
Interested in a beautiful piece of jewellery featuring an amazing Tanzanite gemstone? Check out our Elsa Tanzanite and Brilliant Diamond Drop Earrings, our Karina Tanzanite, Diamond and Ruby Ring, or our Aria Tanzanite and Diamond Ring.
To have your own bespoke piece of jewellery either remade, or created new, call us at +65 6733 4100, visit our atelier at #05-04 International Building, 360 Orchard Road, Singapore 238869; or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.