There is real concern regarding the long-term future of the Tanzanite gemstone and
already demand outstrips supply. An additional factor is that due to the single
location of the occurrence of this gem, there may realistically be as little as
ten years of mining production before the supply of all jewelry grade Tanzanites
has been depleted.
Whilst from time to time reports of new discoveries of Tanzanite surface, the only
widely accepted genuine deposits of Tanzanite is the five square mile hilltop at
Merelani, relatively close to Tanzania's international airport, and a few isolated
deposits in Kenya.
Tanzanite is rated at 6.5 – 7.0 on the Moh's Scale of Hardness and is therefore
suitable for all jewelry applications and durable enough for everyday wear, although some care should be taken. Whilst most people know Tanzanite as a
blue gemstone, it is also found in shades of brown, gray, green and purple. Probably
the most predominant factor explaining the high demand for this gemstone is that
Tanzanite is a stone that exhibits beautiful color changes, and depending upon the
angle that it is viewed at it most commonly exhibits changes between reddish- purple,
blue and deep purple colors, with the most desired and therefore the most valuable
color being blue.
Currently Tanzanite is a relatively inexpensive gemstone. Having said this, the
prices of Tanzanite fluctuates wildly and overall prices per carat of good, gem
quality Tanzanite have more than doubled over the last two years. Taking this into
account the fact that there is only a finite amount of Tanzanite available, this
gemstone represents a real opportunity for investment. It is predicted that prices
will continue to rise and that these rises will likely be very steep once the known
deposits have been depleted, which may well occur at some point within the next
Common Cuts :
Tanzanite gems are most commonly, although by no means exclusively, fashioned into
Oval and Cushion cuts. All accepted gem
cuts are however available.
Routine Enhancements :
In it's natural form, Tanzanite is most commonly a dull brown color. However, when
heated to around 600 degrees celcius an amazing transformation occurs and the gem
changes color to a vibrant blue or purple color.
It is worthy of note that whilst other gemstones are routinely enhanced / heat-treated in order to create additional color, Tanzanite is heated simply to bring out the
color already present in the stone, not to create a better quality gemstone. Heat-treated
Tanzanite is considered to be the same quality as non heat-treated Tanzanites, it
is simply richer in color.
Care & Cleaning :
As with may gemstones, it is best to clean Tanzanite with warm,
soapy water. Ultrasonic
ans steam cleaning cleaning devices should be avoided, as should exposure to acids
or prolonged exposure to extremes of heat as this may cause the gem to shatter.
When storing your Tanzanite jewelry do so away from harder gemstones that may scratch
the softer Tanzanite.