Tanzanite is the name given to transparent blue zoisite. Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 and
named after the location of its discovery, Tanzania. This sparkling stone was introduced
into jewelry in 1969 by Tiffany & Company of New York. And . . . the magnificent 18K white gold
Tanzanite ring below was designed and created by The Ross Jewelry Company of Atlanta.
Tanzanite has become the most popular gem stone in the world today after the "Big Four"
(diamond, ruby, sapphire, & emerald). It is believed that the Masai herders were the first
people to discover this gemstone. According to popular myth, a lightning strike near the
Merelani hills set surrounding grasslands on fire. When the Masai herders returned to the
area with their livestock, magical blue stones appeared on the ground. When a Portuguese
geologist, named DeSouza, traveled to this area in Tanzania, he saw the magnificent blue
stone and assisted Tiffany & Company in introducing this exciting discovery to the world.
Tanzanite is usually blue, lilac blue, or deep violet blue, but other colors are possible
including green , yellow, pink, brown and khaki. These colors and also paler blue stones are
often heat treated to produce the preferred deep blue color. Tanzanite is slightly fragile,
and can fracture badly, ultrasonic cleaning should be avoided, but otherwise it is very
suitable for jewelry, being a very beautiful stone, similar to sapphire.
Famous examples: A specimen named "The Midnight Blue", of 122.7 carats is located at the
Natural History Museum in Washington, DC. We provide discount cards to our customers for
the gift shop in the Smithsonian Institute, home of the Natural History Museum.
This is a gemstone you probably would never consider if it were not treated. When heated to
600 degrees Celsius, greenish to brownish zoisite undertakes an incredible metamorphosis,
resulting in the creation of this vibrant blue to blue violet gemstone, Tanzanite. With
hardness between 6 and 7 on the Moh's scale, Tanzanite is quite fragile, and for this reason,
ultrasonics should never be used to clean this precious gem stone. However with an appropriate
setting and some care, all kinds of tanzanite jewelry including Tanzanite rings will provide
their wearer's with endless pleasure. Dazzling as Tanzanite earrings and Tanzanite necklaces,
this rare gemstone speaks volumes about the wearer's personality and sense of style.
With vast deposits in the northern part of the country near the Merelani hills, Tanzania is
the primary commercial source of Tanzanite. Very small deposits have been found in Kenya, but
were not considered large enough for commercial purposes until recently.
With Tanzanite's ongoing popularity even these small deposits are now being mined and have
even been the source of armed disputes.
As with most gemstones, lighting condition is the most critical factor when evaluating the
value of these gemstones. Tanzanite will display the most blue under daylight, while the
violet shade will be more apparent under incandescent light. The stone which commands the
highest value is generally the one which displays minimal violet, even when it is viewed
under incandescent light.
It is common to find flawless tanzanite crystals; therefore, the stone should not contain
too many inclusions.
Ca2Al2(AlOH)(SiO4)3 - Hydrous Calcium Aluminium Silicate
Refractive Index (R.I.):
1.692 to 1.700
The Ross Jewelry Company - 3490 Piedmont Road NE (One Securities Centre), Suite 120 - Atlanta, Georgia 30305 - (404) 495-3720