The Beauty of Tanzanite: A Guide to This Rare and Vibrant Gemstone


Tanzanite is a rare and beautiful gemstone that has gained popularity in recent years due to its unique colors and properties. It is a blue to violet variety of the mineral zoisite and is found exclusively in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, East Africa. Discovered in the 1960s, tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone compared to other popular gems like diamonds and sapphires. Despite its young age, tanzanite has quickly become a favorite among gemstone enthusiasts and jewelry designers alike.

The beauty of tanzanite lies in its vibrant and mesmerizing colors. Depending on the lighting and angle, tanzanite can display a range of colors from blue to purple to violet. This color-changing property, known as pleochroism, makes tanzanite a unique and sought-after gemstone. Tanzanite is also known for its high clarity and brilliance, which makes it a popular choice for engagement rings, earrings, and pendants.

In this guide, we will explore the beauty, properties, and history of tanzanite. We will also discuss the factors that affect tanzanite’s value and how to care for this rare gemstone. Whether you are a gemstone enthusiast or simply curious about this beautiful gemstone, this guide will provide you with valuable insights and information about tanzanite.

tanzanite mine

History of Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a rare and vibrant gemstone that is beloved by many. This gemstone was discovered in the late 1960s in the Mererani Hills of Northern Tanzania. The discovery of tanzanite is a fascinating story that involves a Maasai tribesman, a lightning strike, and a stroke of luck.

Discovery of Tanzanite

The story of the discovery of tanzanite began in 1967 when a local Maasai tribesman named Jumanne Ngoma stumbled upon some sparkling blue crystals in the Mererani Hills. Ngoma was herding his cattle when he saw the crystals and picked them up out of curiosity. He showed them to a local prospector named Manuel de Souza, who recognized them as a new and unknown mineral. The crystals were sent to a gemologist in the United States, who confirmed that they were a variety of the mineral zoisite and named them tanzanite after their country of origin.

Mining of Tanzanite

The mining of tanzanite began soon after its discovery. The Mererani Hills quickly became a hub of activity as miners flocked to the area in search of the precious gemstone. Today, tanzanite is still mined exclusively in Tanzania, making it one of the rarest gemstones in the world. The mining process is difficult and dangerous, as miners must dig deep into the earth and work in narrow tunnels. However, the allure of tanzanite’s unique color and rarity makes the effort worthwhile.

Popularity and Value of Tanzanite

Tanzanite’s popularity and value have grown steadily since its discovery. Its unique blue-violet color and rarity make it a highly sought-after gemstone. In 2002, tanzanite was added to the official birthstone list for December, further increasing its popularity. The value of tanzanite is determined by its color, clarity, and size. The most valuable tanzanite gemstones are a deep blue-violet color, with few inclusions and a larger carat weight. Tanzanite’s value is expected to continue to rise as it becomes increasingly rare due to the limited supply from Tanzania.

Tanzanite Facts
Chemical Formula Ca2Al3(SiO4)(Si2O7)O(OH)
Color Blue-violet
Hardness 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale
Crystal System Orthorhombic
Transparency Transparent to translucent

tanzanite stone

Characteristics of Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a rare and stunning gemstone that is known for its unique blue-violet hue. The gemstone is found exclusively in Tanzania, making it one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone, having been discovered in the 1960s, and has quickly become a favorite among gemstone enthusiasts.

Color and Clarity of Tanzanite

The color of tanzanite ranges from blue to violet, with some stones displaying a mix of both colors. The intensity of the color varies depending on the size and cut of the stone. The most valuable tanzanite stones are those that display a pure blue hue. Tanzanite is a Type I gemstone, which means that it is typically eye-clean, with few to no inclusions visible to the naked eye. However, some stones may have inclusions that are visible under magnification.

Cut and Carat of Tanzanite

The cut of a tanzanite stone is an important factor in determining its value. A well-cut tanzanite stone will display the gemstone’s color and clarity to their fullest extent. The most common cuts for tanzanite are oval, cushion, and pear-shaped. Tanzanite is typically found in smaller sizes, with most stones weighing less than 5 carats. However, larger stones are rare and can command a high price.

Tanzanite vs Other Gemstones

Tanzanite is often compared to other blue gemstones such as sapphire and blue topaz. While sapphire is a more traditional and well-known gemstone, tanzanite’s unique color and rarity make it a popular choice for those looking for something different. Blue topaz is a more affordable option, but it does not have the same depth of color as tanzanite. Tanzanite is also often compared to amethyst, as they are both members of the quartz family. However, tanzanite’s unique color and rarity make it a more valuable gemstone.

Characteristic Tanzanite Sapphire Blue Topaz
Color Blue-violet Blue Blue
Clarity Eye-clean Eye-clean Eye-clean
Cut Oval, cushion, pear-shaped Round, oval, cushion Various
Carat Most under 5 carats Various Various

tanzanite buying guide

Buying Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a rare and beautiful gemstone that has gained popularity in recent years. When buying tanzanite, there are several factors to consider to ensure that you get the best quality stone for your money.

Factors to Consider

One of the most important factors to consider when buying tanzanite is the color. Tanzanite is known for its vibrant blue and violet hues, but the color can vary depending on the quality of the stone. Look for stones with deep, rich colors and avoid those with a grayish or brownish tint.

Another factor to consider is the clarity of the stone. Tanzanite is a type of zoisite, which means it can have inclusions or imperfections. Look for stones with minimal inclusions or those that are not visible to the naked eye.

The carat weight of the stone is also an important factor to consider. Tanzanite is a relatively soft stone, so larger stones may be more prone to damage or scratches. Choose a size that fits your budget and lifestyle.

Pricing of Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a rare and valuable gemstone, and the price can vary depending on the quality and size of the stone. Generally, larger stones with better color and clarity will be more expensive. It’s important to purchase tanzanite from a reputable dealer who can provide a certificate of authenticity and a fair price.

Caring for Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a relatively soft stone, with a hardness of 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale. To care for your tanzanite, avoid exposing it to extreme temperatures, chemicals, or high impact. Clean your tanzanite regularly with a mild soap and water solution and a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris.

When storing your tanzanite, keep it separate from other jewelry to avoid scratches or damage. Consider storing it in a soft pouch or jewelry box.

Tanzanite Buying Guide
Factors to Consider Pricing Caring for Tanzanite
Color Varies depending on quality and size Avoid extreme temperatures, chemicals, and high impact
Clarity Reputable dealer with certificate of authenticity and fair price Clean regularly with mild soap and water solution and soft brush
Carat weight Store separately in soft pouch or jewelry box

tanzanite jewelry designs

Tanzanite Jewelry

Tanzanite is a rare and precious gemstone that is highly valued for its vibrant blue and violet hues. It is often used in jewelry designs to create stunning pieces that are both unique and eye-catching. Here are some popular tanzanite jewelry designs that you can consider:

Tanzanite Rings

Tanzanite rings are a popular choice for those who want to add a touch of elegance and sophistication to their look. They come in a variety of styles, from simple and understated to bold and dramatic. Some popular designs include halo, solitaire, and three-stone rings. Tanzanite rings can be paired with other gemstones or metals to create a truly personalized piece.

Tanzanite Necklaces

Tanzanite necklaces are a great way to showcase the beauty of this gemstone. They can be worn alone as a statement piece or layered with other necklaces for a more eclectic look. Some popular designs include pendant necklaces, chokers, and long chains. Tanzanite necklaces can be paired with a variety of outfits, from casual to formal.

Tanzanite Earrings

Tanzanite earrings are a versatile accessory that can be worn with a variety of outfits. They come in a range of styles, from simple studs to elaborate chandelier earrings. Some popular designs include hoop earrings, drop earrings, and dangle earrings. Tanzanite earrings can be paired with other gemstones or metals to create a unique and personalized look.

Styling Tanzanite Jewelry

When it comes to styling tanzanite jewelry, there are a few things to keep in mind. Here are some tips:

  • Pair tanzanite jewelry with neutral colors, such as black, white, or beige, to make the gemstone stand out.
  • Wear tanzanite jewelry with outfits that have blue or purple tones to complement the gemstone’s color.
  • Layer tanzanite necklaces with other necklaces of different lengths and styles for a more eclectic look.
  • Pair tanzanite earrings with an updo hairstyle to showcase the earrings and draw attention to the face.

With these tips in mind, you can create stunning outfits that showcase the beauty of tanzanite jewelry.

Pros Cons
Tanzanite jewelry is unique and eye-catching. Tanzanite is a rare gemstone, making it more expensive than other gemstones.
Tanzanite jewelry can be paired with a variety of outfits. Tanzanite is a relatively soft gemstone, making it more prone to scratches and damage.
Tanzanite jewelry can be personalized with other gemstones or metals. Tanzanite jewelry requires special care and cleaning to maintain its beauty.

tanzanite investment


In conclusion, Tanzanite is a rare and vibrant gemstone that has captured the hearts of many gemstone enthusiasts. Its unique blue-violet hue and high refractive index make it a popular choice for jewelry designers and collectors alike.

Investing in Tanzanite can be a wise decision as it is a rare gemstone that is only found in one place in the world. The demand for Tanzanite continues to grow, and experts predict that its value will increase over time.

When purchasing Tanzanite, it is important to consider the four Cs: color, clarity, cut, and carat weight. A high-quality Tanzanite should have a deep blue-violet color with excellent clarity and a well-proportioned cut. Carat weight is also a factor to consider, as larger stones are rarer and more valuable.

Overall, Tanzanite is a beautiful gemstone that is worth investing in for its rarity, beauty, and potential for appreciation in value. Whether you are a jewelry designer, collector, or investor, Tanzanite is a gemstone that should not be overlooked.

Pros Cons
  • Unique and vibrant blue-violet color
  • High refractive index
  • Rare and only found in one place in the world
  • Potential for appreciation in value
  • Relatively soft compared to other gemstones
  • May require special care
  • Can be expensive

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