In 1967, a Masai tailor and part-time gold prospector was working on a ridge about 40 kilometers south of Arusha, Tanzania, when he came across some purplish crystals. He first mistook the fragments for peridot but changed his mind and classified it as dumortierite. The fragments made a circuitous journey until they reached New York City, New York and Hyman Saul who took the samples to the Gemological Institute of America. There the gem fragments were correctly identified as “blue zoisite”. Hyman Saul showed Henry Platt of Tiffany & Co. the shards of gem. He appreciated their color and beauty, promptly christened the blue to purple gem, “Tanzanite,” after the only country it is found. Due to tanzanite’s limited area of origin, it is 1000 times rarer than diamonds and current prices are more than $3000 per carat.
The familiar blue color tanzanite can be altered with alternate lighting. Fluorescent lighting tends to bring out the blues of the stone while incandescent lighting highlights the violet color of the crystals. Tanzanite can also be found in burgundy hues; the colors depend upon the crystalline structure. It is considered a relatively soft gem and is most commonly used in the design of earrings and necklaces.
Although this gem is only about 50 years old, is has quickly become a modern favorite. It is a beautiful gem set in earrings or pins or necklaces. It can be shaped into almost all cuts, such as the princess, the trillion, the heart, the marquis. It is versatile as well as stunning, alone or partnered with other gems. The most famous large tanzanite is the “Queen of Kilimanjaro”, 242 carats, set in a tiara that also boasts brilliant garnets and diamonds.About the Author:
Julia Lawrence thoroughly enjoys spending time researching and writing about diamonds, jewelry and pop culture! When she isn't hard at work writing blog posts for The Diamond Lining, she spends her time wither with an absolutely adorable Mini Golder Retriever: Jake, and her husband: Mr. Julia Lawrence.
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