December Birthstone: Tanzanite
Color: Ranges in color from deep ultramarine to light violet-blue, also a trichroic gemstone that shows flashes of blue, violet, and red.
Origins: This stone is only found on the African continent in the Merelani Hills (home to Mount Kilimanjaro) in Tanzania. Mount Kilimanjaro is one of three freestanding volcanic peaks that are the result of massive tectonic activity that created one of the most mineral abundant places on earth known as the Mozambique Orogenic Belt. With all the folding and faulting that took place millions of years ago, different combinations of minerals were able to form and reform, producing Africa’s rich gemstone deposits.
History: This gemstone was first discovered in 1967 in northern Tanzania by a tailor and part-time gold prospector. Officially called blue zoisite it was marketed as tanzanite by Tiffany & Co. who wanted to capitalize on the rarity of the gem.
• The much prized stones are found only in the foot hills of Mount Kilimanjaro.
• Tanzanite is thought to be calming and soothing to the wearer. It also believed to aid in overcoming communication difficulties and promotes compassion.
• The largest tanzanite crystal The Mawenzi was found in 2005 and weighed 16,839 carats. The world’s largest faceted tanzanite is 737.81 carats.
• This blue/purple gemstone is said to strengthen the immune system, detoxify the blood and improve vitality.
• The Queen of Kilimanjaro is a 242 carat centerpiece set in a tiara accented with 803 brilliant cut tsavorite garnets and 913 brilliant cute diamonds. This piece is in the collection of Michael Scott, the first CEO of Apple Computers.
• The blue of Tanzanite is believed to reflect the color energy of the sky, bringing trust, faith, patience and respect to the wearer. It can also help the wearer become more sincere, act more responsibly and become more trustworthy.
• The purple Tanzanite takes on the darker hue of winter’s majesty. It inspires awe, and invites a feeling of mystery and magic, nobility and luxury to the wearer.
• The deep indigo Tanzanite is believed to bring wisdom, truth and dignity. It is a stone of long life and promotes introspection.
Care: Avoid ultrasonic or steam machines and swift temperature changes. Use any plain soap and water to clean. Be sure to thoroughly rinse and dry all your jewelry after cleansing.