Tanzanite is named after its place of origin, Tanzania, where it was discovered in 1967. This is the one and only location where the beautiful purplish-blue stone is mined. That is the reason that tanzanite is so rare and so coveted. Tiffany’s, the famed New York City jewelers, was responsible for introducing tanzanite to the rest of the world with exquisite tanzanite jewelry to showcase its beauty.
Not only is tanzanite rare, but it is also delicate. It rates about a 7 on the hardness scale. Therefore, it must be gently cleaned as opposed to the harder more forgiving ruby, sapphire and diamond. So, a soak in warm soapy water will brighten your tanzanite bracelet nicely.
The violets, blues and lilac shades of tanzanite are spectacular and make beautiful tanzanite necklaces, particularly in silver or platinum. As you move the gemstone and change the angle, different shades become prominent- more blue than purple at times. It also picks up the colors you wear. If you wear your tanzanite pendant with a blue dress, the stone will appear to be more blue than violet. It makes a beautifully versatile piece of jewelry.
In 2002, tanzanite was officially named the birthstone for December. So, because of its rarity, if you are the birthday recipient of a tanzanite ring or a tanzanite pendant, count yourself lucky. Hold onto these pieces and pass them down as a family heirloom.