While there are three stones that hold the title of December birthstone, it is the beautiful Tanzanite that has the most interesting story.
This gemstone is one of the most beautiful and desirable with its blue-violet variety. The gemstone was named by Tiffany & Co. after the country of Tanzania where it was discovered. Naturally formed Tanzanite is extremely rare and only found in the Mererani Hills. In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association chose this gemstone as the December birthstone, which had not been changed since 1912. As one of our favorite stones, we have some gorgeous Tanzanite items that would make a perfect gift!
Tanzanite is the exquisite blue variety of the mineral zoisite that is only found in one part of the world. Named for its limited geographic origin in Tanzania, tanzanite has quickly risen to popularity since its relatively recent discovery.
Zoisite had been around more than a century and a half before this rare blue variety was found in 1967. Trace amounts of vanadium, mixed with extreme heat, cause the blue color which ranges from pale blue to intense ultramarine with violet undertones.
Due to pleochroism, tanzanite can display different colors when viewed from different angles. Stones must be cut properly to highlight the more attractive blue and violet hues, and deemphasize the undesirable brown tones.
The majority of tanzanite on the market today is heat treated to minimize the brown colors found naturally, and to enhance the blue shades that can rival sapphire.
Tanzanite is still only found on a few square miles of land in Tanzania, near majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Its price and availability are directly tied to mines in this region.
Tanzanite measures 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of hardness - which is not nearly as hard as the sapphire it often substitutes. Given its vulnerability to scratch during daily wear and abrasion, tanzanite is better suited for earrings and pendants than rings.
Between its deep blue color and its limited supply, tanzanite is treasured by many, whether one is born in December or not!
Come in and see our selection of gemstone jewelry or select a stone to make your very own one-of-a-kind piece!