5 Things You Never Knew about Tanzanite (December Birthstone)

5 Things You Never Knew about Tanzanite (December Birthstone)

What do you know about the December birthstone?

Many people know what their birthstones are, but they don't know the history behind it.

In honor of the tanzanite stone, we're going to share 5 facts you didn't know about it.

1. Tiffany & Co. Put Tanzanite on the Map

Unlike diamonds, which have been around for thousands of years, the tanzanite is very new.

Tiffany & Co. was the first jeweler to use tanzanite in one of their pieces a year after it was discovered.

The jeweler giant also renamed it tanzanite after Tanzania, which is the stone's home country. They wanted to find a name that was catchy, and it worked.

2. The Biggest Tanzanite Weighs 3.2kg

This tanzanite is so large, it even has its own name. It is named after "The Mawenzi" Mount Kilimanjaro's second highest peak. It wasn't named after the highest peak in hopes a larger one would turn up.

The 3.2kg tanzanite was mined in 2005 by the company TanzaniteOne. In the rough, this stone was 16,839-carats. The measurements of this tanzanite were 22cm x 9cm x 7cm.

3. The Tanzanite Stone is Trichroic

This precious gem is trichroic. When in its rough form, its capable of radiating three different colors: blue, red, and violet. Once it's polished and cut, the colors range from royal blues, indigos, electric violets, and vibrant blues.

Did we mention heat also contributes to those deep blue colors? In its rough form, the tanzanite stone was some tones of brown.

It is then exposed to high temperatures ranging from 500 to 800 degrees to reveal the iconic deep blue colors.

4. It Could Go Extinct

The tanzanite is native to Tanzania and no other place in the world has this precious stone.

These stones can only be found in a 4km strip of land on the outskirts of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Because they come from a single source, they are estimated to be 1,000 times rarer than diamonds.

Expert gemologists believe that at the rate the stone is getting mined, they will be depleted. Rough tanzanites might only be available for 10 or 20 years.

After that, no more new stones will be available. The stone will only become precious and only a certain amount of people will be lucky enough to own one.

5. Tanzanite Celebrated Its 50th Anniversary

In 1967, the tanzanite was discovered in its native land of Tanzania. The discovery of the stone is attributed to Manuel de Souza who at the time was a local tailor.

Even though the stone has been gracing precious jewelry for only 50 years, its formation goes way back. 585 million years to be exact, that is what gemologists estimate.

Are You Ready to Own a Tanzanite?

When you gift the tanzanite as a birthday present for that special person born in December, remember to share these fun facts.

At Johnson Jewelers, we have been providing the Tampa Bay Area with exquisite jewelry since 1972. Let us help you find your next gift, contact us or browse our collection.

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