What is Tanzanite?
Take some dull brown zoisite, add some high heat and voila! You have beautiful blue or purple tanzanite, perfect for use in tanzanite rings. One of tanzanite’s most fascinating qualities is the way the same gemstone can seem to be different colors in different light. Sometimes it looks blue, others it seems violet, and some stone even show bits of red.
Discovery of Tanzanite used in Tanzanite Rings
Tanzanite was discovered in the African nation of Tanzania in 1967, making it a relatively new gem compared to stones like garnet, which have been around for thousands of years. It is said that people of the Masai tribe witnessed a brown zoisite rock in the path of a brush fire turn to a beautiful blue color, and a few enterprising members of the group began trading the now pretty stones. They caught on quickly, and before long the Tiffany Jewelry Company realized that this gem was a potential winner, if marketed properly. They came up with the trade name tanzanite, in honor of the country where the gem was first found, and that name sticks to this day. Appropriate, since as of this writing, tanzanite has not been found outside of Tanzania.
The brilliant blue and violet shades of tanzanite make it a popular choice for rings. These hues complement a number of outfits and go well with yellow metal, like gold, and white, like silver or platinum. Tanzanite gemstones also look fabulous when mounted next to other precious and semi precious stones, as in an emerald, amethyst, garnet or tanzanite and diamond ring.
Birthstone Tanzanite Rings
Since tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone, it is not one of the original birthstones. However its popularity led the American Gem Trade Association to update the birthstone list in 2002, making tanzanite a birthstone for the month of December, sharing the honor with zircon and turquoise. Tanzanite rings are fantastic birthday gifts for anyone born in December, but they are also appropriate for Christmas gifts, Valentine’s, mother’s day, or any other gift giving occasion.
Caring for Tanzanite Rings
Tanzanite measures in at about 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, which is a tool to measure gem hardness. In comparison, a diamond is a 10, while turquoise comes in at around 5. Because tanzanite is a bit lower on the scale owners of lovely tanzanite rings should avoid situations that could damage them or cause them to scratch or break. Tanzanite jewelry should be removed while using harsh chemicals, such as cleaning solutions, or while engaging in activities that could cause the ring to be knocked around, like sports or building.