Tanzanite Information Part 3
Tanzanite Information - Part III
Tanzanite is from the mineral group Zoisite and was discovered in Tanzanite, East Africa in 1967. The dingey brownish crystals (usually found in 3-10 carat sizes) are heat-treated to over 500 degrees celcius to produce a beautiful violetish-blue color which is permanent. Tanzanite is strongly trichroic which means it displays 3 colors. Many people prefer the intense neon blue, though it is scarcely available on the market today. For valuation purposes, the richer the color of your tanzanite, the more valuable it is. For investment purposes, the tanzanite color to avoid would include gems which appear to be washed out or lacking blue color. You may find the GIA color scale to be helpful in this area. Ideally, a 50/50 mix of blue and purple is your best bet, though these tend to be very expensive. We try to carry good color balance in nicely saturated tanzanites. In fact, please visit our Reviews page to read what our actual customers have to say about our line of fine tanzanite.
Many gemstones, such as sapphire and ruby, are routinely heat treated to bring out the true beauty of the gem. And yes, tanzanite in it's natural form is normally a brown color, as mentioned earlier. It is thought that the Masai cattlemen near the Merelani Hills of Tanzania discovered the "pretty blue stones" on top of the ground after a grass fire, ignited by lightning, swept over the countryside. It was then that tanzanite was discovered and the Masai herders became the very first tanzanite collectors.
Tanzanite Jewelry Applications
Tanzanite has a Mohs hardness of approximately 6.5 out of a possible 10 score. Diamond, the hardest gemstone, is a 10 on the hardness scale. The corundum group, comprised of Ruby and Sapphire, has a Moh's hardness of 9. Any value of 8 or above is considered very durable. So, care and prudence should be used when evaluating the specific jewelry application of your tanzanite. For the most part, people wear their tanzanite jewelry on special occasions, though, with care, it can be worn most of the time. Always, tanzanite is recommended for tanzanite earrings and tanzanite pendants.
Tanzanite Pricing and Market Fluctuations
Toward the end of 2004, several of the large gem cutting houses have been buying up entire auctions of Tanzanite in East Africa. In 2005, it came to light that the tanzanite mine itself, and its agents and representatives, were buying up as much finely colored material as possible to usher in "control" of the primary market of tanzanite and to drive prices higher into 2nd tier dealer markets. Then, the announcements came that Tanzanite One would supply the market only through a select list of suppliers (Who does this sound like?). We are of the particular opinion that there is NOT a shortage of tanzanite at present, though the best of colors are often reserved for high-end tanzanite dealers. eTanzanite.com has a privileged position in the tanzanite market. We are consistently offered the top 10% in color at any given time through an extensive network of tanzanite suppliers. Our prices reflect minimal margins at any given time, so you may always buy with confidence. As a sidebar, please avoid the penny-pincher mentality when it comes to buying fine tanzanite. Focus rather on whether eTanzanite.com has your special stone(s). Also, please avoid getting caught up in market hype with respect to tanzanite supply. Simply put, if you are ready to own a fine tanzanite, now is the time!
Tanzanite was discovered in the mid 60's and has only become more popular over time. We encourage people to purchase as many tanzanites as they are able since it is considered a rare gemstone and should go up in value over the coming years if supplies begin to run low. For some of the lower quality, included material, many jewelry manufacturers cab the material into tanzanite beads. Tanzanites come in many different shapes. There is the tanzanite pear or pear shape tanzanite. Additionally, there is the tanzanite oval, which is a very popular cut, if not the most popular. The tanzanite round is infrequently available due to the fact that most tanzanite rough does not carry the depth needed in order to cut a vibrant round. Another very popular shape is the tanzanite cushion cut. If well cut, we believe it to be among the top 3 tanzanite shapes.