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About Tanzanite - The rarest gemstone in the world.

The Formation of Tanzanite

 

Five hundred and eighty five million years ago, in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Mother Nature yielded her most precious of all gems. As testimony to its rarity it remained unknown until 1967 when it was discovered at what is the still the world's only known source – Tanzania.

 

mount kilimanjaro

 

Significant tectonic plate activity and intense heat formed Mount Kilimanjaro, and in this process, the Mozambique Orogenic Belt (one of the most mineral-rich places on Earth), was formed as well. It is believed that it was during this process that rough Tanzanite was formed. The process is known as regional metamorphism, and can be explained as follows: when tectonic plates collide with one another, the igneous rocks (rocks formed through the cooling and solidification of magma / lava) of each tectonic plate are morphed into one another by means of extreme pressure. The rocks reach near melting-point, and when this happens, they produce beautiful crystal structures. In this process, gems are formed, essentially, from the coming together of two plates. Each of the two plates can contain a variety of different minerals, and because of this, combinations that are specific to one area, may occur. This explains why tanzanite is only found in one area in the world. The morphing together of two tectonic plates in this specific area of Tanzania resulted in a particular mix that has not been discovered anywhere else in the world.

 

Shimansky is the only company in the world who source their Tanzanite directly from Block D which is operated by the Massai Tribe and having the option to select first hand the very best Tanzanite uncut gemstone as they are mined to be able to polish the highest grade, best color and flawless Tanzanite you will ever see.

 

 

rough tanzanite

 

The conditions that created the Tanzanite deposit at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro are thought to be so unique, that geologists believe the chances of another batch of Tanzanite being created are only about one in one million.

 

Among the local people of Tanzania, various stories and myths exist as to how this precious gem came about. It is popularly believed that Tanzanite was formed by an act of God, when he used lightning strikes to set the surrounding hills alight. After the fires burnt out and the earth cooled down, the rocks deep inside the earth turned blue. The gem is also believed to carry unique spiritual properties, with local Tanzanian people believing that Tanzanite heightens spiritual growth. Tanzanite rings are often worn for protection, and for the gems alleged calming and soothing properties.

 

Due to the uniqueness of its formation, its rarity, and its unrivaled beauty, Tanzanite has become a sought-after gem all around the world. Discover the Ayanda Tanzanite jewelry collection for buying Tanzanite in South Africa.

 

cut and polished tanzanite

 

 

ATTRIBUTES OF TANZANITE


    • Rarity: Tanzanite’s only known source in the world is a 4km strip of land near Mount Kilimanjaro, northern Tanzania. This single, limited source renders Tanzanite at least a thousand times more than diamonds. With only one known source to date, it is predicted that within the next 10 – 12 years no more gem-quality tanzanite will be found.
    • Color: Tanzanite is uniquely trichroic. This means that in its rough form, it radiates three different colors from each of its crystallographic axes: blue, violet and burgundy. Once cut and polished, Tanzanite ranges from electric violets to vibrant blues, deep royals and rich indigo. The color of Tanzanite is strongly related to the presence of vanadium and titanium in its crystallographic structure.
    • African mystique: Its geology is so unique that the chances of Tanzanite occurring elsewhere in the world are unlikely. Tanzanite’s exclusively African heritage and the alluring narrative of its discovery have proved to be a unique selling feature. Tanzanite jewelry is a particularly attractive investment for foreigners visiting the African continent, as it allows them to take home, something that is uniquely African.
    • Investment value: There is no other investment that will yield as great a return as investing in Tanzanite of the highest quality. It is more likely to increase in value as supply gets less and demand increases. For Investment Tanzanite contact us for a personal consultation as no two Tanzanite alike

 

Origin of Tanzanite

 

Tanzanite’s only known source in the world is a 4km strip of land near Mount Kilimanjaro, northern Tanzania. This single, limited source renders Tanzanite at least a thousand times more than diamonds. With only one known source to date, it is predicted that within the next 10 – 12 years no more gem-quality Tanzanite will be found. Its geology is so unique that the chances of Tanzanite occurring elsewhere in the world are highly unlikely. Because of this scarcity, Tanzanite jewelry is extremely sought-after and valuable.

 

Tanzanite was brought into the commercial market place by Manuel D'Souza, a tailor by profession and prospector by passion, who incorrectly identified it as a sapphire. In years to follow, Tanzanite found its way to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) in New York, who analyze the gem and identified it as a variety of the mineral Zoisite.

 

tanzanian sunset

 

Though there are various accounts of how Tanzanite was first discovered in Tanzania, the most credible, and widely accepted story, started with an Arusha tailor named Manual d’Souza. On July 7th 1967, d’Souza discovered a cluster of transparent blue stones laying on the ground near the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, which he immediately mistook for sapphires. He presented them to an acquaintance, who suggested they have the stones tested for hardness, in order to identify their compounds. The test ruled out the possibility of sapphires, as the stones were much softer than a typical sapphire. They were then misidentified as Peridot, and later as Duortierite. The gems appeared to be something entirely new, unknown to the gemological world.

The Tanzanite discovered by d’Souza were sent off to the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), where expert gemologists identified them as a variant of the stone Zoisite. At around the same time, the correct identification of de Souza's discovery was made by Ian McCloud, a Tanzanian government geologist in Dodoma, with later confirmations from Harvard, the British Museum, and University of Heidelberg.

 Bellow are some images of Tanzanite jewelry by Shimansky

 tanzanite drop earrings

 

Shortly after de Souza's discovery, he attempted to register his mining claim with the Tanzanian Government’s Mines & Geology Department, but he soon discovered that other prospectors had already registered Zoisite mining claims before he managed to change the name of the gem on his original claim registration. During this period, another popular name for this variety of Zoisite was "Skaiblu," a Swahili-language interpretation of the English term "Sky Blue."

 

The short strip of land at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro soon became covered in mines as people were hoping for their share in this new discovery. As a result, d'Souza was unable to maintain control over his mining claim. In 1971, the Tanzanian government took control of the mines and turned them over to the State Mining Corporation in 1976.

 

 rough tanzanite

 

Tanzanite first became popular commercially when Henry Platt, the great grandson of Louis Comfort Tiffany, founder of the American jewelry manufacturer Tiffany & Co, fell in love with the gem. He became so excited at the prospect of selling it, that he immediately set about creating a marketing campaign around it, and he was adamant to be the first to bring Tanzanite to the jewelry market on a grand scale. It was Platt who named the gem “Tanzanite,” after its country of origin, Tanzania. Platt famously called Tanzanite "the most important gemstone discovery in over 2000 years." Seemingly overnight, Tanzanite became the most coveted and popular gemstone in the world.

 

Today, Tanzanite rings and other Tanzanite jewelry creations are a popular choice not only for investment, but also to wear – the stones offer a unique beauty unachievable by other gems, and with their rich African heritage, they offer foreigners visiting Africa the opportunity to purchase a truly African keepsake.

Shimansky is home to the most beautiful Tanzanite rings in South Africa. Sourced directly from the Maasai tribe in Tanzania, only the very best quality gems are chosen for each Shimansky Ayanda Tanzanite jewelry creation. The Shimansky Ayanda Queen of Tanzanite collection comprises a variety of breathtaking rings, pendants and earrings.

 

Mining of Tanzanite

 

With an established direct-to-mine relationship, Shimansky sources top quality certified Tanzanite direct from the Maasai tribe in Tanzania, contributing to their sustainability and affording a unique opportunity to select the latest Tanzanite mined. These beautiful, top quality gems are transformed into stunning Shimansky Tanzanite jewelry creations, forming part of the Ayanda Queen of Tanzanite jewelry collection.

Since the discovery of Tanzanite in 1967, it is estimated that two million carats of Tanzanite were mined in Tanzania before the Tanzanian government nationalized the mines.

 

tanzania map

 

Only two kilometers wide and four kilometers long, the Tanzanite mining area was divided into four sections by the Tanzanian government in 1990. These sections are known as Blocks A, B, C and D and have been allotted to different mining groups. The A-Block and C-Block are reserved for foreign investment and large operators, while B and D can be mined by locals.

Tanzanite is found in sausage-shaped formations, called Boudins. Boudins are phlegmatic veins that have become stressed and have broken into smaller pieces. Tanzanite stones are found in small pockets inside the Boudins. Not every Boudin will produce Tanzanite, and many that do, contain low-grade material not useful for jewelry.

Initially, Tanzanite was easily collected from the surface, but scavenging mining didn’t last long and pits and tunnels quickly took preference. Geological testing has shown that Tanzanite layers exist down to 200 meters below the ground. As mining levels drop deeper, increasingly sophisticated infrastructure is required to access the Tanzanite. World-class infrastructure is put in place to secure the shafts, provide air supply and ventilation, watering and de watering, to ensure the safety of the mine workers, and ensure that the Tanzanite can be extracted safely and productively.

 

 tanzanite mining

 

Processing and sorting takes place on-site. Rough Tanzanite is sorted both manually and using a fully automated optical sorting/primary grading system - a world first in the colored gemstone industry. There are various steps in the sorting process.

Firstly, the gems are picked from the shaft, after which they are taken to the sorting house where they are cleaned and weighed. Unwanted materials (ie. non-gem matter) are removed from the gems, and then the cobbling process begins. The gems are cobbled and graded so that they can be divided into various groups. Gems of good quality are taken away for carat, clarity and color grading, while others are taken away to be sold as they are, and the off-cuts or “waste” are collected to be sold locally. Once al the grading and sizing procedures have taken place, the gems are packed and ready to be sold.

Around 70 000 people are supported and employed by the Tanzanite mining, cutting and trading industry, worldwide. Buying Tanzanite in South Africa and other countries, from a reputable jeweler, supports the Tanzanian economy, and allows buyers to invest in something truly spectacular – a gem so precious and rare, that even the most striking sapphires struggle to compete with its beauty.

 

Cutting and Polishing of Tanzanite

 

In the rough, Tanzanite shows potential thanks to its attractive bluish color, but once cut and polished, the gem is brought to life, displaying magnificent fire, brilliance and scintillation. Cut by a master craftsman, each single facet of the Tanzanite gem is shaped by hand. When you purchase a Tanzanite ring, Tanzanite necklace, or Tanzanite earrings from Shimansky, you can be certain that only the highest quality stones have been used, and that each stone has been cut and polished to maximize its beauty. All of Shimansky’s Tanzanite is sourced direct from the mine and is cut and polished in-house in the Shimansky factory with the most cutting-edge technology and highly skilled craftsmen, after which it is set and transformed into breath-taking Tanzanite jewelry creations.

 

The process of transforming Tanzanite from rough to polished involves various steps:

 


tanzanite cobbing

 

 

STEP 1: COBBLING

After mining, the non-gemstone material is removed from the Tanzanite with small, sharp hammers. This process is known as “cobbling.”

 

 


 

tanznaite initial grading

 

 

 

STEP 2: INITIAL GRADING

The cobbled Tanzanite is weighed and sorted into groups based on color and size in order to determine value. Through a vigorous and necessary processing, optical and manual sorting system, the rough Tanzanite gems are prepared for the stages that follow.

 


tanzanite cutting and polishing

 

 

STEP 3: CUTTING & POLISHING

Shimansky’s highly skilled craftsmen examine each Tanzanite and determine which shape and cut is best for the gem. The planning process is of utmost importance, as the cutter needs to select a cut that will yield the most brilliance, and bring out the stone’s full potential. A wrong cut can have a massive negative impact on the value of the gem. A ‘window’ is polished into the preformed Tanzanite in order to check the Tanzanite’s clarity. Before the Tanzanite can be cut, it is divided into desired, marked pieces, a process in which markings are made against the planes that the rough stone needs to be swan or cut.

 

These preformed Tanzanite stones are attached to a dop stick with hot wax, which holds the stone in place for the spinning wheel, where the “bruiting” process takes place. During this process, the corners of the rough stone are rounded, and the Tanzanite’s girdle is formed (the girdle is the surface which is formed around the thickest part of the stone). Another Tanzanite stone, set in a “bruiting stick,” is used to gradually round off the corners of the rough stone until it is perfectly round at its thickest part. The dop stick is attached to the machine at precise angles, to achieve perfect symmetry and correct angles. The Tanzanite is then cut into the desired shape. A quality check is done at the end of the bruiting process to ensure the Tanzanite meets the criteria to move onto the polishing process.

 

The Tanzanite is then pushed against a lap (a spinning wheel) to polish the stone. Polishing gives the stone its final facets and it is during this stage that the gem comes to life. The process requires a huge amount of skill and concentration, and it is this part of the process where the stone is given its grandeur. The gem is meticulously checked by the cutter after each facet has been polished; he inspects each facet closely before moving onto the next one. After being polished, the Tanzanite is ready to be sent to the Tanzanite International grading facility, where its color, clarity, cut and carat weight will be graded. Once the grading is complete, the gem will either be sold as a loose stone, or it will be set in a beautiful jewelry creation.

 

Tanzanite is a unique gem, and requires experience, skill and attention to detail in the cutting and polishing processes. To achieve the optimum cut, the cutter must give the gem his undivided attention, and as a result, it can take days to cut and polish a single stone. The result, however, is worth the effort. Tanzanite jewelry is not only a great investment, but is absolutely beautiful to wear. When buying Tanzanite in South Africa, select a stone from a reputable jeweler that has been cut and polished to maximize its beauty and reveal its true potential.

 

Setting Tanzanite into Jewelry

 

Tanzanite is a unique and beautiful gem that comes to life when set in a pair of earrings, a bracelet, a necklace or a ring. Exceptionally beautiful and unique, Tanzanite jewelry has become sought-after all over the world. However, it is important to note that not any jeweler can work with this unique gem. On the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, Tanzanite is relatively soft with a hardness of 6.5 - 7. This is much softer than, for instance, a diamond, which has a hardness of 10. This means that Tanzanite is a stone with lower durability than diamonds and many other gems, and it is more prone to chipping than most traditional gemstones. As a result, great care must be taken by the jeweler who sets the stone, as well as by the person who wears the final jewelry creation. This is especially true when the Tanzanite gem is worn in a ring, as it is more likely to get bumped or knocked during everyday activities.

 

 

In addition to being vulnerable to damage when worn, Tanzanite is also vulnerable when set in a jewelry creation. Tanzanite’s inherent division means that its structure is sometimes under threat during the setting process. It is very sensitive to heat, or sudden changes in temperature, which is why equipment like jewelry steam cleaners are best avoided around this precious gem. If exposed to changes in temperature, the stone could easily fracture, which affects not only its beauty, but also its value. In addition, Tanzanite’s cleavage also makes it vulnerable to fracturing if cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.

 

Great care must be taken when working with Tanzanite jewelry. If a jeweler is inexperienced in working with Tanzanite, the stone can be greatly damaged during the setting process. When buying Tanzanite in South Africa, be sure to choose a reputable jeweler with experience in working with Tanzanite. The Shimansky craftsmen have over two decades of experience working with this phenomenal gem.

 

 tanzanite and diamond rings

 

Shimansky sources only the finest quality Tanzanite straight from Tanzania. Great care is taken when planning each stone’s cut and polish – Tanzanite has incredible potential and in order to maximize its beauty and reveal its brilliance, cutters examine the stone carefully before deciding upon a cut that would best suit that particular stone. Using cutting-edge technology in conditions carefully set out for this unique gem, the stone is carefully sculpted and brought to life. Shimansky jewelers rely on years of knowledge and experience with each Tanzanite setting.

Known for classic, yet contemporary designs, Shimansky’s range of Tanzanite jewelry settings can be described as both “modern” and “timeless.” Each setting complements the shape and cut of the stone, and is carefully selected to bring out the stone’s best qualities.

 

The Shimansky Ayanda Queen of Tanzanite collection features an array of exquisite Tanzanite rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and necklaces, each one set to perfection by the Shimansky team. Whether you find a completed Tanzanite creation that steals your heart, or find your perfect loose Tanzanite stone to be set to your preferred specifications, your precious Tanzanite jewelry creation will become a precious family heirloom, increasing in value as time passes. The Ayanda Queen of Tanzanite range of handcrafted Tanzanite jewelry creations are set either with, or without, accompanying diamonds.

 

Role of Tanzanite in Tanzania

 

 tanzanian landscape

 

Tanzanite jewelry is loved all around the world, with Tanzanite rings, in particular, being a popular choice for jewelry enthusiasts. Tanzanite is a “modern” gem, having only been discovered in 1967. This groundbreaking discovery did not just mean a great deal to the world of gemstones, but it meant a lot for the country of Tanzania. Because Tanzanite is only found along a 4km strip at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is the world’s only supplier of this precious gem, resulting in world-wide interest in this country and the African continent.


In early years, the people of Tanzania seemed undecided about Tanzanite. There were rumors of tragic mining accidents and unfair working conditions, as well as beliefs that all the money made from Tanzanite was leaving the country. With the implementation of fair systems and various ethical organizations, however, Tanzanite is today mined fairly, and it has significantly boosted the Tanzanian economy. Today, there is a sense of pride among the people of Tanzania. Not only has an internationally recognized certification scheme been introduced, but an international grading system has been implemented, where Tanzanite’s features are accurately described and recorded, giving assurance to those who wish to purchase ethically mined Tanzanite.

 

It is difficult to ascertain just how many people in Tanzania depend on tanzanite mining for a living, but as a result of the mining of tanzanite, there have been major investments in technology, the environment, as well as in the local communities.

 

In 2003, the Tucson Tanzanite Protocol (TTP) was developed in order to protect Tanzanite and ensure an ethical route to market. Proactive and settling, this step was crucial in giving consumers confidence in Tanzanite, protecting the legitimacy of the gem’s supply chain and to encourage economic development within Tanzania. This protocol comes as the result of a cooperation between the Tanzanian government, and major industry stakeholders, including miners, dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and retailers. This protocol is often likened to the Kimberley Process which came into effect in 2000, and was designed to prevent conflict diamonds from entering the mainstream diamond market.

 

Tanzania would not be where it is today, was it not for the discovery of Tanzanite. Not only has it strengthened the Tanzanian economy, and created jobs for local people, but it has also helped fund various community projects, bettering the lives of the Tanzanian people. When buying Tanzanite in South Africa from a reputable jeweler such as Shimansky, you can be certain that your Tanzanite ring, necklace, or earrings will not only bring you joy for a lifetime, but that it helped sustain and develop local communities in Tanzania as well.

 

polished tanzanite

 

Future of Tanzanite

 

Tanzanite is a relatively “new” gem when compared other precious stones such as diamonds. Diamonds were discovered in South Africa in 1867, but were known to man for centuries before, with the first diamond engagement ring being given to Mary of Burgundy by the Archduke Maximilian of Austria in 1477.

 

Tanzanite was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967, and up until its discovery, it was completely unknown to man. Today, Tanzanite jewelry is sought-after all over the world, but with Tanzania’s supply exhaustible, what does the future hold for this exceptional gem?

 

supply and demand of tanzanite

 

Tanzanite is coveted all across the world, not only because of its beauty, but also because of its rarity. It so popular, in fact, that it among the top ten best-selling gems in the world. Tanzanite is only found in one area in the world: a 4km strip of land at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, in the northern parts of Tanzania. It is unique to this country, and gemologists and geologists have estimated that it is near impossible for the same gem to be found anywhere else in the world. With a limited area in which to mine Tanzanite, comes limited Tanzanite production. Experts believe that within the next 10 to 12 years, the supply of Tanzanite will decrease, and eventually, Tanzania’s supply of Tanzanite will run out, and the magnificent gem will become depleted. However, as supplies begin to run low, mining companies are going deeper underground in the hope of recovering more tanzanite in layers previously unexplored.

 

Tanzanite already appreciates in value every year, but once supplies begin to run low, the gem is expected to significantly increase in value. Experts believe that once the supply of Tanzanite is exhausted, it will reach an all-time high value, and prices of the gem are expected to rise dramatically. Like in all industries, prices are affected by supply and demand. The demand for Tanzanite continues to rise, but the supply is slowly decreasing. Once Tanzanite is depleted, there will be no more first time owners of this precious gem, and buyers hoping to acquire their very own Tanzanite stone or Tanzanite jewelry creation will have to be willing to spend a bit more than they currently would. As a result, Tanzanite rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets are expected to become precious family heirlooms (although in many cases one can say that they already are!).

 

tanzanite and diamond rings

 

Because of the decreasing availability, buying Tanzanite Jewelry or loose gemstones is considered a very good investment. Not only does it appreciate, and is likely to fetch a much higher price in the future than it does now, but it is also a unique gem to pass down to future generations. The selection of the right Tanzanite for the purpose you intent is vital as Investment Tanzanite will be different than Tanzanite in Jewelry. Contact us for a Free advice.

 

The Tanzanite mining industry has employed thousands of people in Tanzania. Though its legend is sure to live on forever, its supply certainly won’t. For potential buyers, now is the best time in which to invest in that coveted Tanzanite jewelry creation or loose stone.

 

Investing in Tanzanite

 

Tanzanite has a unique niche that makes it very attractive for investment and its rarity and exclusivity makes Tanzanite and Tanzanite jewelry excellent investment options. It is one of the world’s rarest gems, found in one place – a short area at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania called Merelani. Scientists and gemologists believe that it was the unique conditions brought on by the eruption of Mount Kilimanjaro that resulted in the formation of Tanzanite. The combination of elements and chemicals present in the ground, along with extreme pressure and high temperatures created one of the world’s most beautiful gems. Because of the specific conditions that lead to the formation of Tanzanite, scientists believe that it is highly unlikely Tanzanite will ever be discovered in another location.

 

 tanzanite ring

 

There is no other investment that will yield as great a return as investing in Tanzanite of the highest quality. The demand for Tanzanite is ever increasing. Like in all industries, supply and demand are the main factors contributing to a commodity’s value. In the case of Tanzanite, both the supply and the demand contribute to its high value. Thanks to extensive marketing to promote this beautiful gem, the world has fallen in love with Tanzanite, making loose Tanzanite stones and tanzanite jewelry very desirable. The demand for the stone has become increasingly high, especially in the United States. The supply of Tanzanite, however, is limited. As it is only found in one place in the world, and it is expected to become depleted in the next 10 to 12 years, the supply is becoming less and less.

 

 tanzanite ring

 

We are living during what has become known as the 'Tanzanite Generation'; those fortunate enough to already own Tanzanite, and those who acquire it in the next decade or so, will be the only first-time owners. Thereafter, Tanzanite will become a precious heirloom passed from generation to generation.

 

With the demand increasing and the supply decreasing, the value of Tanzanite is expected to increase exponentially in the upcoming years. Already increasing in value every year, Tanzanite has always appreciated as time goes by. But many investors believe that the stone’s real value lies in the potential for the gem to reach colossal prices once it has been mined out. In a similar situation, Paraiba tourmaline was found in Brazil in the 1980s, and was mined out by the mid-1990s. Today, it can reach up to US$ 20 000 per carat.

 

Buyers looking to invest in Tanzanite are advised to consider a few different factors when embarking on an investment:

Color: the more intense and vivid the color, the higher the value of the stone. Thus, Tanzanite stones of deep blue or violet color are more likely to yield a larger return on your investment.

Carat weight: the larger the stone, the greater its value.

 

Cut and shape: the shape of the Tanzanite will not have an effect on its value, and investors should select shapes that appeal to their personal preferences. The cut of the stone, however, is of great importance. The better the cut, the higher the value of the stone. Invest in Tanzanite that offers fantastic light return and maximum brilliance.

 

 tanzanite bracelet and neckpiece

 

There are various channels through which Tanzanite can be purchased – from the internet to retail stores. When buying Tanzanite,  the most important thing is to find a reputable source that offers high quality Tanzanite at fair prices. Be sure to ask for Tanzanite International certification, and be certain of the gem’s color, cut, clarity and carat weight grading before purchasing.

 

The beauty of investing in Tanzanite is that this item of exquisite beauty can be worn and enjoyed while its value increases. Shimansky offers a wide range of Tanzanite jewelry creations, as well as loose stones. Find your perfect Tanzanite earrings, rings, necklace or loose stone at your nearest Shimansky store.

 

Interesting Facts about Tanzanite

 

  1. Tanzanite is the official birthstone for December. 
  2. Tanzanite is the suggested gift for the 24th wedding anniversary.
  3. Tanzanite has been attributed with qualities of good luck and prosperity, and associated with celebrations of new life and new beginnings.
  4. Tanzanite’s only known source in the world is a 4km strip of land near Mount Kilimanjaro, northern Tanzania. This single, limited source renders Tanzanite at least a thousand times more rare than diamonds.
  5. Though more affordable than diamonds, and around a third of the price of sapphires, Tanzanite is an extremely valuable gem, with Tanzanite rings, Tanzanite necklaces and Tanzanite earrings becoming investment pieces, appreciating every year.
  6. Tanzanite is believed to have been formed about 585 million years ago, but it was only discovered in 1967.
  7. The revenue from diamonds is instrumental in the fight against the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
  8. It is a member of the Zoisite family, but is unique because of its striking blue/violet color.
  9. Tanzanite is uniquely trichroic. This means that in its rough form, it radiates three different colors from each of its crystallographic axes: blue, violet and red. Once cut and polished, Tanzanite ranges from electric violets to vibrant blues, deep royals and rich indigo's.
  10. Among the Maasai, the color blue is seen as sacred and spiritual, and this coupled with its characteristics of new life have brought about a tradition where Tanzanite is given to Maasai women after the birth of a child as an offering of health, positivity and prosperity to the child.
  11. The biggest Tanzanite in the world is a single large crystal of 16,839 carats, well over 3kg. It has been named “The Mawenzi” after Kilimanjaro’s second highest peak.
  12. Because Tanzanite is only found in one small area in the world, and it is unlikely to ever be found anywhere else, gemologists believe that, in the next 10 to 20 years, no more Tanzanite will be found. After it becomes depleted, there won’t be any more first time owners of the gem, and all Tanzanite will become precious heirlooms.
  13. On the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, Tanzanite has a hardness of 6.5-7 which means it is a fairly soft stone. Because Tanzanite is much softer than some other gems, it should be stored carefully. Tanzanite rings in particular are not recommended for everyday wear, as they are more likely to get damaged from knocks and bumps.
  14. The discovery of Tanzanite has greatly impacted the Tanzanian economy.
  15. Tanzanite is becoming increasingly recognized as an heirloom due to its very limited supply and rarity.

With over 25 yeard in buying rough Tanzanite and polishing Shimansky is one of the world top experts on Tanzanite and will be able to assist you in your quest to find the perfect Tanzanite with shipping world wide. from 1 carat Tanzanite up to 100 carat Tanzanite and beyond we are here to help you every step of the way feel free to email any time ys@shimansky.com