Tanzanite
 
24th Anniversary Gemstone.   A transparent blue gem discovered in Tanzania in 1967, Tanzanite is an extraordinary gemstone.   Its blue, surrounded by a fine hint of purple, produces an amazing color.   Thanks to its unusual hue and the promotion of the Tiffany's in New York, it has rapidly become one of the most coveted gemstones in the world.
 
It is named after the East African state of Tanzania, the only known place it can be found.    Africa is a continent which provides the world with a multitude of truly magnificent gemstones.    Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 A.D.   It was enthusiastically celebrated as the 'gemstone of the 20th century'.   Gemologists held their breath in excitement as they caught sight of the first deep-blue crystals which had been found in the north of Tanzania by some passing Masai shepherds.
 
In Merelani, the search is still carried on for the coveted crystals in several, smallish mines, in some cases using modern methods.    As a rule, only small grains are found, but now and again the mineworkers succeed in digging out a larger crystal – to the joy of the mine owners and that of the large number of Tanzanite fans.
 
Blue Zoisite
 
Tanzanite is a blue variety of the gemstone Zoisite.  It consists of calcium aluminium silicate and has a not particularly hard rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs Scale.   For that reason, it should always be worn carefully and never placed in an ultrasonic bath for cleaning or brought into contact with acids.
 
When the first Tanzanites were offered to Tiffany & Co of New York after their discovery, they sparked such an enthusiastic reaction, its name was changed to honor its place of origin because the correct gem name, 'blue zoisite', sounded too close to the English word 'suicide".   It was also Tiffany & Co who, two years later, presented the exclusive gemstone to the general public in a broad-based advertising campaign.
 
In Tanzanite, the deep blue is fantastic and runs from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue.   The most coveted color hue is a blue surrounded by a delicate hint of purple, which has a particularly wonderful effect in sizes of over 10 carats.   A well-developed polychromaticity of Tanzanite is typical:  depending on the angle from which you look at it, the stone may appear blue, purple or brownish-yellow.   Most raw crystals are somewhat spoiled by a brownish-yellow component, though it can be corrected with heat-treatment.   During the heat-treating procedure, the cutter must pay careful attention to the moment which the color turns to blue.  This burning is a method of treatment which is regarded as customary in the trade, but the raw stones must be as free of inclusions as possible, since fissures may occur.   Working with Tanzanite can sometimes give even the most experienced cutter a bit of a headache, the cleavage of this gemstone being very pronounced in one direction.   Tanzanite is cut in every imaginable shape from the classical round shape to a number of imaginative designer cuts.
 
Particularly highly prized, Tanzanite is found only one place in the whole world.   This promotes the desire of possessing something rare that not everyone has, one of the main criteria in the way we esteem special gem.
 
 
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