Tanzanite is a member of the Zoisite family, a calcium aluminium silicate mineral with an orthorhombic crystal system.
A newcomer to the world of precious stones, tanzanites were not discovered in commercial quantities until half a century ago (1976), near the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in the remote region of Merelani in Northern Tanzania. Compare that to diamonds, the earliest of which were believed to have been found in India in the 4th century BC, and emeralds, which date back to the ancient Egyptians, and this baby of the gem world has achieved star status in a very short space of time. It is believed that the mines will be depleted in around 25
years, which means it is becoming increasingly difficult to find large tanzanites in the most coveted deep-blue colour.Tanzanite had its first taste of fame when Tiffany began using it in its designs just a year after its discovery – the first jeweller in the world to do so. Tiffany renamed it Tanzanite after its country of origin. Ranging from deep velvety blue to light purple, tanzanites, like all gemstones, are not uniform in colour. Intriguingly, tanzanite is a trichroic gemstone, which means that it displays three different colours when viewed from different angles
The vast majority of tanzanite – approximately 80% – comes out of the ground brownish in colour and is heated to burn away the muddy tones, leaving only blue, violet and pink hues. Described as “gently heated” rather than “heat treated”, tanzanites are exposed to temperatures of around 500-800oC for an hour at most to reveal their blue colour, while heat-treated gems like rubies often come close to melting point to achieve a more vivid hue.
The biggest tanzanite ever discovered was a 16,839-carat rough. Weighing more than 3.2kg, it was mined in 2005 by TanzaniteOne and named Mawenzi after Mount Kilamanjaro’s second highest peak.
The largest tanzanite ever sold at auction was the 563-carat Namunyak tanzanite; the largest flawless Royal Velvet Blue ever discovered. The stone was re-cut to 423.56 carats, set it into a necklace and sold it at auction in Hong Kong, where it achieved just over $300,000. The proceeds were donated to build a school in Nepal.
Tanzanite is believed to be one of the most valuable of all metaphysical crystals for spiritual exploration, bringing together all aspects of communication and psychic power. It is particularly helpful in uniting the mind and heart, teaching one to live from a compassionate heart with an illumined mind.
Tanzanite aids in sharing spiritual information and knowledge from a heart-centred
perspective, making it an excellent crystal for counsellors or others in the position of intellectually interpreting emotional experiences.
As a workplace stone, Tanzanite is calming and soothing and helpful in ascertaining your true vocation. Even a tiny piece is beneficial for overcoming communication difficulties. It is also practical in providing a solution to problems when there seems to be none. Tanzanite is said to be beneficial for overworked people, harmonizing fluctuations of energy and assisting in taking time for you.
Emotionally, this stone overcomes depression and anxiety, replacing it with trust and poise, generating energies of happiness and relief from worries, allowing insight into
emotional issues without the need to dwell on them unnecessarily. It inspires one in feeling more compassionate, loving and centred. Tanzanite helps in overcoming experiences of fear and crises, and in re-building trust. It helps solve questions related to the meaning of life, and in coming to terms with oneself.
Zodiac: Gemini, Libra, Sagittarius
Birthstone: June, October & December
Chakra: Crown, Brow and Throat
Hardness: 6.5 – 7
Empowerment: My hidden abilities unfold in unexpected ways