Tips for stone care

How to distinguish natural tanzanite from a fake?

Gems often surprise with their ability to change after the right cut. It’s the same with Tanzanite – the stone is unremarkable and gray, but turns into a crystal shimmering with new shades. Its quantity is very limited, and demand has not decreased for many years, despite the high price. Royal families and famous representatives of high society constantly add tanzanite jewelry to their collections. Tanzanite is a stone whose reserves will disappear within 6 years.

History of origin

Having set off with the Maasai in 1976 to search for rubies, the Portuguese Manael de Souzo did not imagine that his discovery would so change the understanding of precious stones. After a lengthy search, he discovered inconspicuous purple crystals. Sapphires had previously been found in rock cracks near Mount Kilimanjaro, so, classifying his find among them, he gave the gems for research. The laboratory revealed that this is cyosite, first discovered back in 1805, but not used by jewelers. The only one who was able to consider its potential was the Jeweler of the American jewelry house Tiffany, Henry Platt. He was very surprised by the unusually soft structure of the stones. After its masterpiece cutting, the stone instantly gained popularity and was named after the places where it was discovered.

Physical and chemical properties

  • on the Mohs scale – 6,5;
  • density – 3,35 g/cm;
  • variance – 0,030;
  • glass luster;
  • perfect cleavage;
  • there is an alexandrite effect (blue tanzanite under the influence of artificial lighting changes color to purple);
  • optically anisotropic;
  • leaves a white line;
  • rhombic system;
  • brittle stone with uneven fracture;
  • refraction – 1,69-1,70.

The mineral is of interest from a scientific point of view. Its amazing ability to change color is being studied using the most modern methods. A whole network of algorithms is being developed that will help, based on the original color and size of the crystal, select the optimal method for processing it.

Computer modeling will help jewelers do more than just perform quality cuts. It will make it possible to predict the color that reveals the beauty of the stone and calculate the temperature that will help make it a reality.

Deposits of tanzanite stones

In the entire world, only one mine can boast of producing the tanzanite gemstone. Partly, the high cost of the gem is due to this factor. It is located in Tanzania, on the Merelani plateau, and according to geologists, it will soon exhaust its reserves. It is found in gneisses, in the form of overgrown crystals or veins.

The government divided the field into 4 parts. The main extraction of the mineral is carried out in mines. They are located at a depth of 300 m, and the length of some can reach 400 m. The most promising is block C, which produces up to 1 carats of gemstone from 60 ton of ore.

Colors and types

Natural tanzanite colors can be: greenish-blue, yellow-green, sapphire blue, violet, lavender, brown. Its extraordinary color is created by impurities of vanadium and chromium ions. Light pink and crystal clear gems are considered rare specimens.

The most common ones are purple and blue. They are found in placers, closer to the surface of the earth. Light shades of the mineral are not in demand as much as bright ones. The larger the size, the more saturated the shade will be. Isolated finds are specimens that have an amazing effect called cat’s eye.

Jewelers do not use yellow and brown gems to make jewelry. To give them a decent appearance, the stones are heated. However, this is a very delicate process, because. if you overdo it, the crystal will discolor. The blue color of tanzanite stone is more valued. The rare green color of the stone is given by the chromium present in it.

The most expensive specimen is considered to have:

  • large size;
  • ideally selected cutting method;
  • the depth and saturation of the shade are clearly expressed.

Jewelry with stone

The difficulty of cutting lies in the fact that the mineral is soft and fragile. One awkward move and everything is ruined. Therefore, those rare jewelers who take on a difficult task are masters of their craft. Jewelry of such a high level can be purchased in elite world-famous jewelry houses.

The question often arises as to whether a tanzanite stone is precious or not. The answer to this is quite simple – the stone is semi-precious, but is always inlaid with precious metals.

Jewelry houses make brooches, rings, tiaras, pendants, pendants, bracelets, chains with it, and combine it with precious and semi-precious stones. The starting price for 1 carat of gemstone is 120 US dollars. Therefore, if the question arises about what is more expensive, tanzanite or sapphire, the palm will always go to sapphire.

Interesting Facts

Despite the young age of the gem, jewelry with tanzanite is in the private collections of royal families, wealthy people and world stars:

  • the private collection of Michael Scott (Apple) contains the largest specimen found to date, measuring 242 carats (the tiara in which it is set is called the “Queen of Kilimanjaro”);
  • the Smithsonian Institution holds 122,7 carats of tanzanite;
  • in the movie Titanic the Heart of the Ocean pendant was used with this mineral

How to wear

The semi-precious stone tanzanite is of interest to women of all ages. Thanks to its radiant beauty, it suits almost all color types. It combines a glamorous and romantic style of clothing and will beautifully complement a classic women’s suit with a skirt. Looks perfect on clothes in white, black, blue and brown.

Makeup is preferable to minimal or smokey eyes if you plan to go out in the evening. Nude lipstick, or even better, lip gloss. The stone obliges you to wear high-heeled shoes to complete the look harmoniously. It can be worn both for a business lunch and for an evening cocktail – it is always appropriate.

Having chosen this jewelry for yourself, you should not burden the image with others. Despite the fact that it is suitable for owners of all skin types and hair colors, it is most preferable to wear it for owners of blue, gray and dark blue eyes.

Care of products

Tanzanite is a very fragile stone that requires careful handling. Gemologists do not recommend allowing the surface of the mineral to come into contact with any type of chemicals (including perfume, hand cream, hairspray, etc.). Even soapy water will harm the gem, so before washing your hands, it is better to remove the ring. The crystal is cleaned with running water at room temperature. After finishing, wipe dry with a dry, soft, lint-free cloth.

It should be stored very carefully in a special bag made of soft fabric. This will protect the mineral from scratches and chips on sharp parts of other jewelry. It does not tolerate temperature changes and bright rays of sunlight. Jewelry is not worn if you have to go out from the warmth into extreme cold. Due to its aversion to heat, it should not be used in extreme heat.

How to distinguish tanzanite from a fake

In order not to purchase a fake at the price of a natural stone, you should purchase it from jewelry houses and ask the seller for a certificate as a guarantee of quality. Artificial tansinite is often found in stores. Given the high demand for the gem, they have learned to fake it very skillfully.

Tanzanite sitalami is not a natural stone. The mineral was obtained in the laboratory and eliminates all the shortcomings that are found in natural gems. Sital is not glass, but combining all the best qualities, it is its synthesized analogue. It has perfect clarity, alexandrite effect and pleochroism. In composition and physical properties – identical to the original.

Cheap imitations made from glass or spinel obtained in laboratory conditions.
With a cabochon crystal shape, you can often purchase a doublet – the top of which will be made of natural mineral and the bottom of glass. Synthetic tanzanite can only be identified by removing the crystal from the item.

The basic rule for determining authenticity is to examine the crystal from different angles. Even perfect fakes do not have such a play of colors. Also, you can suspect imitation if the stone is too rich in color. However, the most correct way would be to purchase with a specialist who will carefully examine it and determine its authenticity.

We can say that even in the modern world, sometimes you can find a real miracle. This unique rare gem is precisely such a miracle of nature. Even though it is not a gemstone, it is proudly worn by royalty and the richest people on the planet.

Thank you all for your attention.

Tanzanite is the gemological name for a variety of the mineral zoisite, an aluminum and calcium silicate. Tanzanite was discovered in March 1967 in Tanzania, near the slopes of Kilimanjaro by African Ali Juyawati.

Unfortunately, its reserves remain for no more than ten years and the time is not far when it will disappear forever from the bowels of the earth. All these circumstances make tanzanite even more one of the rarest stones in the world, not inferior in value even to a luxurious diamond. Combining an extraordinary combination of colors with the highest geological indicators, it is becoming an increasingly desirable acquisition.

Tanzanite is the personification of the mysterious African continent, mystically attracting with its rare beauty, external gloss and internal depth, which speaks of its extreme exclusivity.

Tanzanite is a star stone. Elizabeth Taylor herself wore jewelry made from it, and in the famous “Titanic” the mineral starred itself, playing the role of a diamond! The fact is that director James Cameron did not like real diamonds as too dark, and sapphires as dull. It turned out that only tanzanite has an enchanting blue color.

How and where is it formed

The origin of tanzanite is metamorphic, hydrothermal, medium and low temperature at low pressure. At a deposit in Tanzania, the gem was discovered in gneisses, where crystals grew along veins and cracks. Widely distributed in placers near source rocks in the form of fragments, elongated or irregular grains.

Physicochemical characteristics

Shine – glass

Color – sapphire blue to amethyst purple

Transparency – transparent

Hardness – 6,5 -7 on the Mohs scale

Density – 3,35 g / cm3

Kink – uneven, fragile


Tanzanite has a wide variety of colors: sapphire blue, purple, greenish blue, yellow-green, brown. Colorless or light pink samples may be found. A feature of the stone is strong pleochroism (an optical property that ensures a change in the shade of the mineral depending on the orientation when viewing). By changing the viewing angle, the color of the stone can become blue, brown-yellow or purple. Strong pleochroism appears in the mineral as three different colors in one stone: from dark blue to red-purple.

Among all jewelry stones, the most unique is the blue-lavender color of tanzanite. The most valuable is the intense blue tanzanite. It is enough to look at a photo of tanzanite to understand the unique beauty of the stone. It seems that the crystal has absorbed all the shades of blue that exist in nature.

There are crystals with a cat’s eye effect. High quality stones have an ultramarine or sapphire blue color.

More recently, a green variety of the mineral was discovered. The stone was called green or chrome tanzanite. Green specimens can be very beautiful and vary in shade from light yellow-green to grey-green.

Place of Birth

Tanzanite deposits are mainly represented by veins and cracks with crystals growing on them. The stone contains various inclusions. The unusualness and value of tanzanite is hidden not only in its qualitative characteristics, but also in the fact that this type of gemstone was found only in one place – the Merelani plateau in Tanzania.

Application and Use

Tanzanite profitable to use as an object for investment. But only large stones of 10 carats or more of the highest purity or rare collectible samples of high quality are suitable for this. The price of large-sized tanzanite (more than 2 carats) can reach up to $2000 or more per carat.

Tanzanite is widely used in jewelry. It has surpassed many famous gemstones in popularity. Well-cut, high-quality stones are highly valued.

How to distinguish real from fake

Tanzanite has a certain “Alexandrite” effect and takes on an amethyst-violet hue when exposed to electric light.

Since tanzanite If only the color variety of zoisite is different, then in the crystal there may be areas of yellowish or brown tints, which, when heated to 400 – 500 o C, disappear, and the color of the stone itself only intensifies.

Tanzanite is imitated with glass and blue synthetic spinel. Visually, tanzanite can be confused with sapphire, sometimes with rich amethyst.

Doublets are often made, the lower part of which is made of “tanzanite” glass, and the upper part of tanzanite itself. Such doublets are cut into cabochons.

In crystals it is diagnosed by the type of crystals, shading, color.

Medicinal properties

Thanks to its blue color tanzanite may soothe or treat the eyes. To do this, you need to calmly look at the stone for some time. It is also believed that the blue variety of tanzanite helps in the treatment of colds and alleviates a person’s condition during fever. Some healers use tanzanite for skin care, and in some cases for its treatment. Tanzanites can also be used to treat various diseases of the spine.

Magical properties

The magical properties of tanzanite have been little studied. It is generally accepted that a tanzanite ring attracts the attention of the opposite sex. Women should wear earrings with this stone to enhance their attractiveness.

Talismans and amulets

Tanzanite – a symbol of love and luxury. This is a talisman for people striving for enrichment and family happiness. The talisman can be any product made of tanzanite. It is believed that if you wear a stone in the form of a brooch or pendant, success in your career will definitely come. The owners of such a stone will experience not only material well-being, but also happiness in their personal lives. Such a stone brings calm, peace and mutual understanding to the family. It is customary to give tanzanite to spouses on their 24th wedding anniversary. Tanzanite began to be called a talisman of love and family happiness. It is best for women to wear earrings with tanzanite, because it is believed that such jewelry enhances their visual appeal, making them bright, confident and charming. For women, a ring with tanzanite will help attract the attention of the opposite sex, and earrings will increase sensuality, enhance feminine charm and sexuality.

Additional Information

Energy – projective Yang (releases, activates energy)

Horoscope — no exact match found

Effect on chakras – frontal chakra

History and legends

The discovery of tanzanite was as accidental and spontaneous as a tropical downpour – in 1967, shepherds of the African Masai tribe found a burnt clearing at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania – the fire, along with grass and trees, ate the top layer of soil, exposing transparent stones of a purple-crimson color. One of the tribe’s warriors brought a stone weighing 10 thousand carats (2 kg) to the office of Manuel De Souza, who supplies rubies. At first, the find was generally mistaken for a piece of glass, then it was considered a sapphire. However, after a thorough examination, experts agreed that they were looking at a completely new gemstone, a variety of zoisite – another African gem that is practically not used in jewelry. Small stones most often have a lavender hue. The larger the stone, the richer, deeper and brighter its color. The sizes of tanzanite stones vary. Large crystals weighing up to 50 carats are often found.

Largest in the world tanzanite, a blue-violet semi-precious stone rarer than diamond, discovered at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro. The weight of the found stone is 16,839 thousand carats, or more than 3 kg. The stone was named Mawenzi after the second highest peak of Kilimanjaro. Its value has not yet been estimated.

Tanzanite loved by many world-famous Jewelry companies and designers. For example, the work of designers from The Stuart Weitzman and Le Vian company, who created high-heeled evening shoes, is interesting. The shoes are made of silver leather and decorated with large tanzanites weighing more than 185 carats, and framed with diamonds weighing 28 carats.

Best regards, Katerina (Napoleonka)

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