How Rare is Tanzanite and is it Popular?

Posted on February 14th, 2012 in Blog by || No Comment

Generally, blue gemstones of any kind are the most favorable globally simply because the color blue is most worn. This makes Tanzanite even more so popular

English: Tanzanite (Zoisite) rough stone and c...

Image via Wikipedia

because in its truest form, with colors of rich blue and a bit of violet, it’s simply stunning and highly desired. Many people tend to favor such a color because they also relate to it and it can be worn with almost anyone’s wardrobe. It also resembles a very rare Kashmir sapphire, which is yet another reason why people adore it.

Being that Tanzanite was the most exciting find in a gemological sense during the 20th century, it is popular across the globe, but more so within the states. This is because about 70 percent of Tanzanite is sold in the United States. As a matter of fact, between the years 1997 to 1999, Tanzanite was only second to the sales of the sapphire in comparison to colored gemstones. You can find the Tanzanite right alongside rubies, diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires when it comes to their level of popularity.

While popular, it is also rare because of those conditions in which it was formed. Its formation is considered a geological phenomenon and there is only a one in a million chance of it ever occurring again. It was because of the eruption of Mount Kilimanjaro which allowed such crystals to form. With the high levels of heat and pressure, along with a chemical called Vanadium, which is also very rare, this fascinating stone was able to form those millions of years ago.

Although rare, the price of Tanzanite has ranged all over the board. This is simply because of its unstable supply. It is hard to say the specific price range, but it will of course depend on the gemstones size, color and clarity. You will be able to tell if your rare and popular gemstone is indeed Tanzanite by simply observing it properly. Since it is trichroic, meaning three colors, you should be able to see at least two of its colors, if not three when turned in various directions.

Water sapphire is often mistaken for Tanzanite because it also has three colors, but it costs less. An ideal way to determine the difference is to ask a professional jeweler. Another way to check is to observe closed back settings. This is a way in which some try to hide flaws. If your rare and popular Tanzanite is not truly such, you may be able to tell from what is being hidden by the setting.

How is Tanzanite Processed?

Posted on February 7th, 2012 in Blog by || No Comment

The life of a Tanzanite all begins as a bluish burgundy crystal. Its true colors are not fully revealed until it is heated to allow the vibrant colors of blue, lilac and violet to shine through. All Tanzanite has been heated to some extent, so this will not decrease its value. It is simply what must occur to reveal its most beauteous form.

Heating of various gemstones actually goes back to centuries ago. It is also considered a natural type of treatment because it is basically continuing the process that would have occurred underneath the earth’s surface anyway. When gemstones are heated using extremely hot temperatures, including Tanzanite, color is enhanced and improved to either lighter tones, darker tones, more vibrant tones, or an entirely different color altogether. Without heat treatment, we would not get to enjoy Tanzanite to its fullest, along with the many other gemstones that are heat treated as well.

When treated under extreme temperatures, this is a permanent process and cannot be changed. If you were to take a Tanzanite in its natural form coming out of the ground, it is brown in color. As it is heated however, the process works to rearranges the atoms found within it, creating the color change. Specifically, the chemical vanadium found in Tanzanite is the color causing element.

During the process of heat treatment, the Tanzanite must endure temperatures between 380°C to 420°C. It should be done at a heating rate of 1°C per minute for two hours. Afterwards, it should be cooled at the rate of 1°C per minute as well. While some gemstones require certain levels of oxygen to be present within the furnace during the heating process, that is not the case for Tanzanite. It is brought extremely close to the point of melting it. This is what allows the crystals within to turn color.

As for devices used to turn the Tanzanite into its attractive color, the raw, uncut form is placed into a furnace or oven. Although it may sound very simple, as you can see, it must be calculated and performed correctly. This is because it is possible to over treat the Tanzanite causing it to melt and overcook. In this case, this gemstone comes completely useless and worthless.

Being that this gemstone is so rare, this process is completed very carefully so that its admirers are able to enjoy its vibrant and attractive colors.

Tanzanite Care and Storage

Posted on February 7th, 2012 in Blog by || No Comment

When it comes to the care and storage of Tanzanite, consider that in comparison to diamonds or sapphires, they are extremely brittle and soft, allowing them

Deutsch: Tansanit geschliffen Español: Tansanita

Image via Wikipedia

to crack rather easily. Whether your Tanzanite is within an earring setting, a ring, or necklace, you are going to want to treat it very carefully.

You can start by being aware of how and where you store your Tanzanite. When storing this gemstone be sure to avoid sudden changes in temperature, as well as heat. Store it in a separate box in-between two layers of cotton to prevent potential scratches from other pieces of jewelry. When not using it, you can also place it in a velvet bag which will prevent unnecessary moisture from causing damage. Since this gemstone is not worn as often, storing becomes a big part of care.

Tanzanite gemstones are also very sensitive to ultrasound, so using an ultrasonic cleaning method will cause damage. The jeweler in which cleans your piece of Tanzanite for you should know this, but always be sure to ask what type of cleaning method they use and be sure it doesn’t involve any ultrasound methods.

Since this gemstone is more for those special occasions, so be sure not to complete housework while wearing it. Things like cleaning the dishes and scrubbing the floors will cause irreversible damage to your Tanzanite. In addition, when swimming be sure not to wear it, as well as during a beach outing or while working out. This will make it lose its shine and in addition, you certainly do not want to lose your jewelry.

Every six months to a year, be sure to have a professional jeweler check the setting so that it remains intact. In addition, you can clean your Tanzanite piece yourself, so long as you do it properly. A jewels cleaning cloth should first be used to remove any fingerprints or residue. A separate cloth should then be moistened with bottled water that is room temperature. This will then be used to remove dirt. This may be just enough to clean your Tanzanite to your liking, but if not, you can use a mild detergent, along with the room temperature bottled water and cloth to get rid of any oils that may be on the stones surface.

While there are other ways to clean your Tanzanite, be careful not to use cleaners that can cause potential damage. The Tanzanite stone is both fragile and rare, so you will want to try your best to keep it in the best shape possible.

What is Tanzanite and Where Does it Come From?

Posted on February 7th, 2012 in Blog by || No Comment

Tanzanite is noted as a very extraordinary gemstone, because not only is it beautiful, but it is sought in only one place worldwide. Found in East African,

English: Tanzanite (Zoisite) rough stone and c...

Image via Wikipedia

specifically near Arusha in the Merelini Hills, to this day, the search is still carried out for this gemstone. Small mines use modern methods to try and extract the Tanzanite from the earth.

Tanzanite is a variety of the zoisite mineral and reflects beautiful colors of bluish-purples. Made up of calcium aluminum hydroxyl silicate, this gemstone was named from its first discovery within the rolling hills of northern Tanzania, hence its name. Millions of years, long ago, on a vast plain shadowed by Kilimanjaro gneisses, metamorphic schists, and quartzites were mixed together to form this isolated mountain. It was here that several thousands of years later, Tanzanite would be discovered within.

This crystalline gemstone contains the presence of vanadium which is a grayish-silver colored metal type chemical that is soft in texture, and along with other conditions present within its specific geological environment, this makes the gemstone quite rare. The structure of this crystal is orthorhombic which relates to its crystalline structure and its unequal right angle axes. It is also trichroic, meaning it gives off three different colors.

When it comes to hardness of Tanzanite, you will find this gemstone sitting on the Mohs scale with a hardness of 6.5. While not as hard as the diamond or a sapphire, it has more in common with an emerald, but is not quite as brittle. On another note, it is still harder than steel, which is rated at about a 4 to 5 range. In regards to the system of grading Tanzanite, it is just like other semi precious gem and is only graded by each independent gemological grading laboratory. However, the Tanzanite that gives off that intense color of violet blue means that it is a very top grade.

Oddly enough, loose tanzanite gems are far rarer than even a diamond, specifically, one thousand more times rare. Since it is softer in nature, many pieces are often destroyed by accident. It has also been predicted that all Tanzanite will be completely exhausted in about 10 to 15 years. It is because of this, that this rare gemstone is considered to be an investment when purchased.

As a product of intense research, it has also been found that it is unlikely for Tanzanite to ever be found in a different area, or another area of the world. This is because it was created by some phenomenon, which geographically provided conditions which will never exist again.



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