Author Topic: Tanzanite  (Read 15966 times)

Offline robin

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Tanzanite
« on: October 30, 2008, 12:33:02 AM »
I really like the look of tanzanite.  I've seen a few rings that I like, and one recently that I truly love.

So just tell me now-- I'd do some clumsy thing and smash a tanzanite into smithereens, wouldn't I?  Or worse yet, I'd be so worried, I'd never wear it....  I need to just give up this notion, right?




Offline DiaDiva

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2008, 03:09:36 AM »
I just got a new tanzanite ring and it's gorgeous (sorry no pics because DH has the camera and I haven't bought a new one) but I'm also a bit jittery when I wear it coz I'm afraid of "hurting" the ring :tongue1: !
Maria...a jewellery addict...

Offline Awestruck

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2008, 06:43:29 AM »
This is an article from the GIA library.

Tanzanite is relatively new to the colored stone galaxy. This transparent blue gem first turned up in 1962, scattered on the Earth's surface in northern Tanzania, in eastern Africa. Scientists identified it as a variety of the mineral zoisite. About five years later, a prospector discovered a large deposit of it in the same area, and serious mining began.

Tiffany & Company recognized its potential as an international seller and made a deal to become its main distributor. Tiffany named the gem after the country it came from, and promoted it with a big publicity campaign in 1968. Almost overnight, tanzanite was popular with leading jewelry designers and other gem professionals, as well as with customers who had an eye for beautiful and unusual gems

Tanzanite's public recognition and popularity have grown steadily. But there have been wide fluctuations in the gem's supply and price level, due mostly to Tanzania's volatile political, social, and economic conditions. That country remains the gem's only source.

Tanzanites are heat-treated to produce colors that include light to dark violetish blue and bluish purple, as well as pure blue. Rich, deep hues are valued most, but you'll usually see these only in stones weighing 5 cts. or more. This is mainly because of decisions made during the cutting process. Tanzanite typically shows strong pleochroism, which means it displays different colors from different directions. It usually looks violetish blue from some directions, purplish from others.

Predominately blue tanzanite is generally worth more per carat, but because of the way tanzanite crystals grow, a cutter can usually get a bigger stone by orienting the gem to show the purple color. With small rough, size is normally the main consideration. While the trade considers the pure blue stones to be the "top" grade, some customers actually prefer the lighter and more purplish colors.

Tanzanite is special-care gem for two reasons: sensitivity to thermal shock and the potential for cleavage. Sometimes the temperature change between the hot lights of the display case and the chilly glass countertop in an air-conditioned showroom can be enough to develop cleavages in tanzanite.

Because of its susceptibility to cleavage, tanzanite shouldn't be handled carelessly. Active people should consider jewelry that won't be exposed to as many bumps pendants and earrings are good choices.

Hardness & Toughness

Sudden changes in temperature may cause cracking in tanzanite. The gem is stable to light, and can be attacked by hydrochloric and hydrofluoric acid.

Treatments

Tanzanite is routinely heat treated to produce tanzanite color in transparent brownish material. This treatment is undetectable, but is assumed because of its prevalence.

Care and Cleaning

Tanzanite should be cleaned using warm, soapy water. Ultrasonic cleaners and steam cleaners should never be used.

Imitations

Glass, synthetic corundum, synthetic spinel, and synthetic spinel triplets have all been used to imitate tanzanite.

Text from GIA's Essential Colored Stone Reference Guide 1999


 
 
 
 
 

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Offline Sparkly-OCD

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2008, 07:22:45 AM »
 
:omg:
Thanks Awestruck.  I've been treating my tanzanites with the ultrasonic cleaner and blasting them with steam.  I am so lucky that I haven't damaged them!  I'll know better from now on.  Thank you!
:Thanx:
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Offline Trinkette

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2008, 08:26:56 AM »
I LOVE the color of beautiful, rich purple-blue tanzanite. In fact, my local jeweler had a gorgeous, big tanzanite ring with opal inlay that I wanted BADLY last year. I still do! But, I've stopped myself (and spent the $$$ at DBL instead  >:D ). This is why: Already, I have one tanzanite ring. And, I've never really worn it much. Even so, the stone is "worn" looking. Dull on the surface. I guess this is because in addition to being brittle, tanzanite is easily abraded, even when you wipe it "clean" with a cloth that may not be pristinely clean or smooth. It breaks my heart... truly, the color of top-notch tanzanite is hard to beat. Gorgeous. Maybe someday, I'll spring for  the tanzanite ring of my dreams. But, if I do, I'll know that it must be worn judiciously and carefully for its beauty to last...

Meanwhile, I look for sapphire with the same purple-blue hue. I realize that in the sapphire world, this modified color is not as highly coveted as BLUE. But, I just see it as their loss, my gain.  ;D

Offline robin

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2008, 11:07:56 AM »
Ah, Trinkette, see, that's good information.

I think probably it's not a good choice for me, especially in a ring with a relatively exposed setting.

The ring I love is a three stone-- round with pear sides, which I've been fond of ever since I saw your ER-- And I think that if I didn't shatter it, I'd wear it down.  Or, as I said, just wear it a few times a year, which (for me, anyway) doesn't make it worthwhile.


Offline Trinkette

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2008, 11:50:46 AM »
Robin, I hate to rain on your parade.  I know how absolutely gorgeous tanzanite can be. And, with your coloring, I'm sure it would be an absolute knockout.

I can tell you that at one time a gemologist who specializes in colored gemstones, a woman who I respect and admire very much, was helping me decide between several pieces she had for sale. In the group that I was considering was a tanzanite pair that I wanted to use as side stones in a ring. When she heard what I wanted to do with the tanzanite, she said, "Earrings, yes. Sidestones no. Too fragile. Please don't do it, I don't think you'd be happy." And, she actually encouraged me to purchase something else, at a significantly lower price.

Obviously, there are a million tanzanite rings out there, and, I'm sure most are just fine. You just need to know what you are dealing with. Unfortunately, I don't thnk that most people realize what they've actually got.  And with the relatively high price of tanzanite, I think it is only fair that one understnds the gem's limitations.  :dontknow:


(Ehhhhh, reading this makes me mad. Life is too short... let's just go out and buy some! Throw caution to the wind!)  :bliss:

Offline Trinkette

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2008, 11:51:50 AM »
Of course, a bezel setting would help somewhat, as long as you are careful about cleaning...  ;D

Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2008, 02:56:18 PM »
We can get some amazing Tanzanite- and we've been considering making some jewelry with it.
BUT- the delicate nature of the stone really gives me pause.

We'd never be able to offer trade up on it, for example......
David
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Offline Mrs Mitchell

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2008, 05:48:13 PM »
Of course, a bezel setting would help somewhat, as long as you are careful about cleaning...  ;D

I was going to suggest that! Plus a halo, to keep it really safe! :D

It would be a nice, rich colour for a pendant - pear cut, maybe? I can't get past pear cuts for a pendant, but a tanzanite would be stunning!
« Last Edit: October 30, 2008, 05:48:47 PM by Mrs Mitchell »
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Offline Cockneysparrow

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2008, 03:18:11 PM »
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO don't put Tanzanite in a bezel setting.  This is the one setting that even experienced gem setters will struggle to set a Tanzanite into.  The pressure required to push down onto a bezel can be enough to crack the gemstone.

Having said all of that, I would just want to reassure you all that in my experience (and I collect Tanzanites, both loose and set into jewellery) they are not so fragile that they require you to walk around in a bubble!  Yes, you can fracture them if you whack them very hard - but the same can be said for a diamond!  Yes, you can fracture them if you put them in a sonic cleaner but then the same can be said for a huge amount of gemstones!  Oh and lastly, the one thing that the article above doesn't mention, is that a Tanzanite can be ruined with water damage so do not immerse in water.  Clean them as you would an Emerald - ie. with care and tepid water, toothbrush and washing up liquid.

Lastly, please don't let all of that put you off buying.  The pleochroism that Tanzanite displays is wonderful.  Whenever I wear mine I get compliments.  Here's a few for you to see:

This is a pendant (photographed inside a ring box in case you were wondering!).   If the gem were this soft, cuts like this would be impossible.


8.15ct heart cut ring (before it was sized correctly!)


3ct Cushion cut:


Handshot:


4.10ct Oval:


2.75ct cushion cut - fluff was free!


18.6ct octagon cut:


2ct trilliant cut:
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 04:07:40 PM by Diamondsbylauren »

Offline Awestruck

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #11 on: November 05, 2008, 03:28:59 PM »
Wow CS what a fabulous collection. Stunning !
( PS can we see your alexandrite too please, especially if you can show us the colour changes )
Lynne
Diamonds are like people, put them under a microscope and you`ll always see a flaw but hold them up to the Sun and each and every one is beautiful.

Offline Cockneysparrow

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #12 on: November 05, 2008, 04:02:37 PM »
Certainly Lynne.

This is my 3ct pear shape, eye clean with PHENOMENAL colour change:-

The Green daytime colour of an Alex is very hard to photograph and in real life this is much more green than it appears.


This is a true representation of the incandescent colour change:


This is a "just because I love it" photo!


Here's another.  This is a necklace.  Again, the Alex has a FANTASTIC colour change.  There is an inclusion in this gemstone but it doesn't detract from it's beauty:




This is a video that I took to try to show the colour change.  It didn't work brilliantly but you can see some of the change.


Offline Awestruck

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #13 on: November 05, 2008, 04:05:22 PM »
Sighhhhhhhh I think I just fell in love with someone called Alexandite lol.
Stunning yet again CS and thanks.
Lynne
Diamonds are like people, put them under a microscope and you`ll always see a flaw but hold them up to the Sun and each and every one is beautiful.

Offline Mikla

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #14 on: November 05, 2008, 04:45:08 PM »
The pear ring is TDF!  What a beautiful stone and setting.  Just gorgeous.

Enjoy it!

Mikla
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Offline GIAGirl

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #15 on: November 05, 2008, 09:22:42 PM »
Those are really nice.  I love that 18 ct square!!!  How are you planning on setting that 18 ct square?

Offline Cockneysparrow

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #16 on: November 06, 2008, 10:02:20 AM »
Thank you GIA Girl.  I'm actually not going to do anything with it!  It's just going to sit in a box and look pretty!  I might sell it actually but haven't decided yet!

x

Offline Diamondluvr

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #17 on: November 08, 2008, 10:08:36 AM »
What a lovely collection of tanzanite and alexandrite!!!  Beautiful :)

I just have to add, I have a tanzanite ring and earrings that are both set in partial bezels-I've had no issues with them thus far and I've had them several years now!
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Offline DiaDiva

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #18 on: March 31, 2009, 12:10:20 AM »
Here's a long overdue shot of my tanzanite diamond halo.

Maria...a jewellery addict...

Offline DiamondHunter

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2009, 02:59:13 AM »
Thanks for sharing,  CS and DD. I'm feeling sorry for some people who insist on 'whitest of white' diamonds only.  There are many truly glorious gemstones around...
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Offline oldmancoyote

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2009, 07:15:34 PM »
Wow. That does remind me of that quote: "Tanzanite is what sapphire wishes it would look like". That thing GLOWS

Offline ah2bqat

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #21 on: March 31, 2009, 08:38:53 PM »
They're BLOOOO, all beautiful BLOOOO

The Queen of Everything  :cat: and I agree that we want these.  Purely TDF! 
« Last Edit: March 31, 2009, 08:44:46 PM by ah2bqat »
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Offline Diamondsbylauren

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #22 on: March 31, 2009, 09:19:22 PM »
All really gorgeous pieces! I can't believe I missed this thread!
Diva, that's really lovely ring....it really reminds me of R2500...



CS- that's an amazing collection!
Have you changed your mind about setting the 18carat?
« Last Edit: April 01, 2009, 12:29:06 AM by Diamondsbylauren »
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Offline Mikla

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #23 on: March 31, 2009, 09:20:37 PM »
Yes, it really does!  They're both gorgeous rings with tantalizing blue stones.  Look at those colors!

Mikla
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Offline Geena1

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Re: Tanzanite
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2009, 02:13:59 PM »
Nice thread.  Your ring is beautiful. Yummy!