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December Birthstone Guide

oval cut tanzanite gemstone image
fancy tanzanite gemstone image
pear cut tanzanite gemstone image

Oval Tanzanite Gemstone

Fancy Square Tanzanite

Pear Cut Tanzanite Gemstone

Pronunciation: Tanzanite = TANN-ZUH-NYTE

In 1967, the "Gemstone of the 20th Century" was discovered in Tanzania , Africa. Tanzanite. The rich, bluish-purple colored gemstone that Tiffany & Co. sought to make the fourth precious gemstone, alongside diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds. Tanzanite jewelry, such as Tanzanite bracelets, Tanzanite rings, and Tanzanite pendants, easily impress! Tanzanite is the anniversary gemstone for the 24th year of marriage. Now known as the December birthstone, Tanzanite is linked to Sagittarians and Capricorns.

Tanzanite Gemstone Variations

Tanzanite Gemstone Variations Image

History/Lore of Tanzanite

Being so new to recorded history, Tanzanite has little lore. The legend of its discovery: a short lived grass fire caused by a lightening strike was the catalyst that turned Zoisite (Tanzanite’s gemological name) into vibrant blues. These glowing colors were spotted by Massai herdsmen. While a romantic story, it is regarded as unlikely that enough heat could be generated by such a fire to affect such a transformation. The gemstone of Tanzanite exudes sophistication; the quintessence of class; at the same time Tanzanite speaks of individuality and self-confidence. Tanzanite Jewelry is suited to all ages, emphasizing non-conformity of the young and sophistication of the mature.


Blue Zoisite is the mineral that creates Tanzanite. A key ingredient in Tanzanite’s success is "pleochroism" (a characteristic whereby it exhibits more shades of blue than a clear night time sky) whereby different colors are seen in different directions of the gemstone. When you look at a rare, high-quality Tanzanite in daylight it sparkles a vibrant royal blue, but under candle light luxuriant deep purples exude. You can actually see both colors simultaneously a lot of the time; and this is especially true in larger sized jewels where Tanzanite’s sparkling fire becomes intensified. On the Mohs scale, Tanzanite is rated at a 6.5 for hardness. (The Mohs scale of mineral hardness was devised by German mineralogist Frederich Mohs in 1812. He selected ten minerals because they were common or readily available and rated them. The scale is not linear, but arbitrary.)

Tanzanite Care and Cleaning

The best way to clean Tanzanite jewels is with soapy water. Steam cleaners work well with these gemstones, however, ultrasonic cleaners can damage these jewels.

Tanzanite Gemstone Fame

AAA versus AAAA. Less than 1% of all Tanzanite mined, AAA Tanzanite is some of the best Tanzanite in the world. But what is AAAA Tanzanite? Although AAA colors come from all four different mining sections in Tanzania, only one specific block yields AAAA Tanzanite. Intense deep purples with glistening flashes of red characterize AAAA Tanzanite. It can be likened to an old French wine of an impossibly hard to obtain vintage... and prices reflect this! AND many jewelers still today have not seen AAAA Tanzanite today.

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