Tanzanite is one of the newer birthstones, added into the mix in 2002. It was first identified in 1962 during mining activities in Tanzania, eventually becoming a celebrated addition five years later after a primary source was found in the Merelani Hills.
The only way to describe tanzanite is to compare its color and tone to velvet. The hue saturates deeply into the birthstones core, producing gorgeous violet and blue.
Unlike other birthstones with ancient traditions and healing potential, tanzanite continues to come from a single country. Under the gaze of Mt. Kilimanjaro, some mining operations go up to 300 feet deep to recover some of the most valuable examples of this gem.
How to Care for Tanzanite
Tanzanite can go up to 7 on the Mohs scale, although some examples can be as low as six. That’s why sudden temperature changes or high heat can sometimes crack this birthstone. Anything that contains hydrofluoric or hydrochloric acid should stay away from your jewelry.
This birthstone gets its color as brownish zoisite. Heat treatments bring about the violet and valuable blue colors that characterize tanzanite.
It works best in pendants and earrings. Some rings may be suitable for this birthstone if they contain a protective mounting.
Warm and soapy water is the only way to clean December’s birthstone.
Some of the most valuable tanzanite examples come from an area called D-block. The gems were the natural blue color because of a suspected wildfire in the region.
Today, heat treatment is considered universal, so it has no general pricing effect.