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Tanzanite: Named for Tanzania, the country where the gemstone was first mined in 1967, tanzanite is a relative newcomer to the gemstone kingdom. This exotic, vivid stone has been found nowhere else on earth. Tanzanite is now an alternate birthstone for December. Tanzanite rates 6 1/2 on the Mohs scale of hardness.
Buying a Tanzanite: As with most gems, the most important factor is color! Tanzanite ranges from lavender to purple to nearly royal blue. The deeper, richer the color, with pink and red flashes, the more desirable the gem. Tanzanite in sizes of 2 carats or more is considered important. Tanzanite is a relatively soft stone, so if you plan to wear your piece of jewelry a lot, select a piece in which the stone is protected (with a bezel or semi-bezel) or does not sit too high off the finger. The top quality tanzanite is called AAA grade. This grade has always been difficult to find, and constitute only 1% of all tanzanite production. AAA tanzanite is now becoming exceptionally scarce.
Enhancements: Although cutting is the most basic enhancement method necessary to display the beauty of a gemstone, there are many fascinating methods by which man has demonstrated his ability to draw maximum color, luster, clarity and brilliance from natures earthbound treasures. A basic understanding of these enhancement techniques will add to your appreciation of the beauty, durability and value of the gemstone jewelry you already own, or plan to purchase in the future. Virtually every tanzanite is heated to permanently change its color from orange-brown to the spectacular violet-blue color for which this gemstone is known. This practice is acceptable to the trade. You should assume that the tanzanite sold at MyJewelrySource is treated unless stated otherwise.
Tanzanite care: Do not use an ultrasonic or steam cleaner. Avoid sudden temperature changes, steaming and contact with cosmetics, hairspray, perfume or household chemicals. Clean only with a damp cloth or soft brush with room temperature water.