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One of the most recent gemstones to be discovered, tanzanite has rapidly grown into one of the world’s most prized gems. Discovered in the East African nation of Tanzania in 1962, this transparent blue gem was quickly recognized by Tiffany & Co. for its potential as an international best seller, thus, the company made a deal to become its main distributor. In 1968, they launched a big publicity campaign, making tanzanite an overnight success.

Tanzanite has always had large fluctuations in gem supply and price levels, due mostly to Tanzania’s volatile political, social, and economic conditions. Because Tanzania remains the gem’s only source, the outlook for long-term availability is also doubtful. Tanzanite is a special-care gem for two reasons: sensitivity to thermal shock, and the potential for fracturing. This means that jewelry set with tanzanite should be the last piece on and the first piece off. Following this simple rule, along with proper cleaning and storing will keep your tanzanite pieces looking beautiful for years to come.

December Birthstone - 24th Wedding Anniversary

Ultrasonic: Never; warm soapy water only Major sources: Tanzania
Phenomena: Pleochroism Hardness: 6-7
Heat: Will cause fracturing Steamer: Never
Stability: Avoid rapid temperature change Toughness: Fair to poor
Enhancements: Heat treatment for color