Tuesday, December 11, 2012

December Birthstone ~ Tanzanite
For the month of December I had four stones to choose from, Tanzanite, Zircon, Blue Topaz and Turquoise.   I was leaning towards Turquoise, just because it is one of my favorite stones but decided to choose Tanzanite simple because it is a lesser known stone…besides it is a stone I’ve never used and I’d like to know more about it myself! 
As previously I’m going to do point form…it is easier to read this way.

Orbital Joe,  Zoisite var. Tanzanite

  •  Discovered in northern Tanzania in late 1960’s., near the city of Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro
  • Found exclusively in Tanzania
  • Is a blue Zoisite, but was given the name Tanzanite in honor of where it is found. 
  • Anniversary stone for 24th year of marriage.
  • when first mined usually a blue, but can be brown.
  • Widely accepted that virtually all Tanzanite is heat-treated to 700 degrees Celsius to product the vibrant blue-purple shades.
  • Rarely a pure blue usually has deep purple shades.
  • Is pleochroism, which means this stone has the ability to exhibit more than one color.
  • is a trichroic gem, when removed from the mine, it has three layers of color, most common layer would be blue, violet and burgundy but you could see red, green, yellow, or possibly orange.
  • It is the blue the gemstone cutter will highlight when cutting, often wasting a good deal of the gem, but the finished stone is thought to be worth it.
  • the world's largest faceted tanzanite is 737.81 carats
  • Relatively soft of usually set in necklaces, care must be taken when wearing.
  • Clean with soap and water, no harsh chemicals.
  • the stone was named by Tiffany & Co.
Orbital Joe, Tanzanite broach, Smithsonian, 08-10-09-017

·         Apparently Tanzanite is 1000 times rarer than diamonds.
I’m including a link to TanzaniteOne Mining Limited http://tanzaniteone.com/.  They’ve done a great job with the website, wonderful photos and interesting and detailed information.  This company owns the license to mine Block C, the largest commercial Tanzanite mining facility.   I enjoyed browsing their informative website.  A few points I found interesting are:
  • their stones are conflict free!
  • their rough stones are sold to only eight companies in the world.
  • the companies Civils & Construction Manager received a diploma in mining through Haileybury School of Mines in  Haileybury, Ontario.
  • you will find an amazing photo gallery here:  http://tanzaniteone.com/gallery
As always if you have any questions or comments send me an email at hjcote11@gmail.com or leave a comment here…
Have a great week…

Photos:  A special thank you to Joe, (Orbital Joe) for allowing me to use his Tanzanite photo, without which the post would lack sparkle! His mineral photos begin here:  http://www.flickr.com/photos/orbitaljoe/sets/414330/



  1. Being a December baby I knew that turquoise and blue topaz were brithstones for December, but not tanzanite! I'm glad you chose to write about this special stone. I learned a lot-I had no idea it more rare than diamonds. Have a great week!

    Marissa Foss, Artbeads.com

  2. THAT'S ME!!!!!!...great post for the December babies...a rare gem indeed!!!!...XXXXXXX

  3. I feel Tanzanite is truly one of the mystical gems. It is gorgeous and I have always been attracted to this lovely gift of the Earth. nice post.


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