Birthstone 12 - December Tanzanite, Gemstone Jewelry

The Tanzanite – Quick Facts about December’s Birthstone

Thanks to Gemporia for this wonderful video on the tanzanite!

Tanzanite: The December Birthstone

The tanzanite is the birthstone of December. The idea of birthstones is ancient and revolves around many traditions, customs, and beliefs. In some traditions similar to the zodiac sign system, birthstones are often associated with certain attributes. For example, some birthstones offer wealth, health, loyalty, and other precious and cherished attributes.

In ancient civilizations, since they were expensive and rare in nature, mostly the kings and the nobles had access to them. Now, due to modern mining, birthstones have become a commonly owned commodity.

What is Tanzanite?

Tanzanite is the name of a mineral called ‘zoisita’, named by Tiffany & Co. The gem is only found in a small northern area of East Africa called Tanzania, which its name was derived from. It was discovered in 1967. Tanzanite colors vary from violet, blue, red, green, and yellow. A top quality Tanzanite is violet-blue, and its price usually varies with size and color. Although now through heat treatment, the green and yellow-tinged can be removed for a blue-violet color.

Tanzanite although looks like sapphire but it is much softer than it is and can be broken easily with a hard object. The Tanzanite is a calcium aluminum silicate.

Didier Descouens / CC BY

History of Tanzanite

Manuel D’Souza, who was a tailor by profession, who thought it to be sapphire since their colors are similar, first brought Tanzanite into the market. A geologist in New York later identified it as a mineral zoisite. As he tried registering his mining claim over it, he soon realized that many other prospectors had already claimed it. Soon in 1971, the government took over the mines there and later handed it over to State Mining Corporation in 1979.

Where is Tanzanite Found

Tanzanite is only found in a small strip of land near Mount Kilimanjaro, North Tanzania and its geology is unique, which is why it is highly unlikely for it to be found elsewhere. This fact alone makes this gem very rare.

Jewelry with Tanzanite

Many different types of jewelry can be made using tanzanite. Due to its deep, rich, and alluring color, it would fit any style perfectly, such as a necklace, an earring, a bracelet, or a ring. With the correct design, it can be made into an eye-catching jewel perfect for any special occasion.

Tanzanite is one of the most sought-after gems, due to its beautiful rich blue-toned color, as well its rarity keeping it high in demand; it also represents African heritage.’s best selling tanzanite pendant