by Neelanjana Ghosh
The gemstone Tanzanite ranges in blue, violet and lavender shades and is a form of the mineral Zoisite which is a calcium aluminium silicate. The colour of Zoisite ranges from shades of greyish brown to white. In its raw stage Tanzanite is usually found brownish and very rarely, blue, violet or deep brown irregular sized crystals, often with broken ends.
The Masai herdsmen are considered to be the first collectors of Tanzanite, the most newly evolved and popular gemstone in terms of beauty and rarity. This newly discovered gemstone came into the limelight way back in the year 1967 and ever since it has mesmerized the world with its beauty. It is considered as a birthstone for the month of December and is believed to have immense healing effects. In the Moh’s scale Tanzanite has a hardness of 6.5 to 7.
The gemstone Tanzanite ranges in blue, violet and lavender shades and is a form of the mineral Zoisite which is a calcium aluminium silicate. The colour of Zoisite ranges from shades of greyish brown to white. In its raw stage Tanzanite is usually found brownish and very rarely, blue, violet or deep brown irregular sized crystals, often with broken ends. However, on application of heat, the gemstone transforms into the hues of breathtaking violet-blue. One can apply heat to these crystals up to a range of 300-400 degrees Celsius. The heat changes the colour of these raw crystals to a deep violet-blue which is the most sought after colour for Tanzanite. The gemstones inherit the different shades of blue due to the presence of the mineral vanadium in it. If the Tanzanite is of superior quality the colour often ranges from blue to purple and further down to a reddish pink shade.
The gemstone emanates different colours when viewed from different directions or one can say that the effect is different from the different angles. The hues are blue, violet or brown. The brown colour is more predominant when the gemstone is in its raw stage. Usually the gemstone has a dominance of the blue and lavender shades, though the stones which are more towards the blue shade are categorized under the higher price bracket especially in the Asian market. The breathtaking aura of blue with a tinge of purple radiates elegance and grandeur which fascinates the eye. The rich velvety shades of blue in a Tanzanite can be equated with the grace of a blue sapphire at any point of time. The cut of Tanzanite, as of any gemstone is also considered to be of great importance as the supreme quality of cut always emphasizes the true colour, lustre and brilliance of the gemstone in the best possible manner. Tanzanite is cut in different classical shapes starting from round to various other fancy cuts that emphasize the brilliance and colour of this amazing gemstone. However, it is experienced that Tanzanite can be at its best form in terms of colour and cut when it is anywhere above 10 carats. The lesser weighed Tanzanite usually has the paler shades of blue.
A gemstone is always considered as a most prized possession for an individual and for a consumer owning a Tanzanite has always been a very special experience. It is not only for its beauty but also for its rare exclusivity that makes this gemstone so very special. After all, one should not forget that Tanzanite is many times rarer than diamonds. It is also the youngest member in the world of gemstones discovered in the 20th century and is available only in one particular area in the whole world that is Tanzania – from where it derives its name.