The Gemstone of the 20th Century

Tanzanite is only found in Tanzenia and it is a combination of elements so unbelievably random that geologists estimate there is a one in a million chance of Tanzanite occurring anywhere else in the world.

In 1967, Maasai tribesmen discovered a unique blue-violet crystal in the Merelani region in Tanzania and shared their find with fortune hunter Manuel de Souza. Manuel was in the region looking for rubies, but when shown this beautiful stone he hoped that they had discovered sapphires. However, he encountered a gemstone no one had ever encountered. In 1968 Tiffany & Co launched a massive campaign to distribute what they dubbed to be “Tanzanite” and it quickly became a mammoth success.

This beautiful gem is becoming rarer each day and it was stated in 2013 by independent geologists that it is estimated to disappear within our lifetime. Once mining of Tanzanite is exhausted then it will become a “heritage” stone and will be incredibly sought after.

Elements of Tanzanite

A tanzanite gemstone reads 6.5 to a 7 on the Moh’s scale of gemstone strength. This gemstone must be handled with care and should never be exposed to sudden temperature changes or any kind of rough activity.

Tanzanite is graded in the same way as diamonds with the 4C’s. The higher the combination of these characteristics the rarer and more valuable the tanzanite stone is.

  • Colour: Refers to colour quality and its degree of saturation. The depth of colour ranges from exceptional to pale. The deeper the colour, the rarer the tanzanite can become.
  • Clarity: Clarity refers to any natural flaws and inclusions in a tanzanite. Tanzanite's ranges from Eye Clean to Heavily Included. The more flawless the tanzanite, the more valuable it is.
  • Cut: Cut refers to a tanzanite's brilliance, proportions and finish. An 'Excellent' cut ensures that the stone's facets reflect light to create maximum brilliance.
  • Carat: Carat Weight is the term used to measure a tanzanite's weight. One carat has 100 points and weighs 1/5 of a gram.

Nicholson's Sourcing Tanzanite

During September 2015 a few members of the Nicholson’s team along with other Showcase members travelled to Thailand to buy gemstones from some of the largest gemstone dealers. After this, the group will then visit the world famous Hong Kong Jewellery Fair. We will have access to the highest quality gemstones and will be bringing home the best pieces to produce into jewellery. That’s only part of the fun, when all the shopping is over we get to sit down and design and create new pieces, both for you and our store!

Care of Tanzanite

This gemstone must be handled with care as it is quite delicate but given the proper maintenance it can last a long time. Rings with tanzanite gemstones should never be exposed to hard knocks, sudden temperature changes or any kind of rough activity. To keep a tanzanite ring from becoming scratched or damaged, it is best that the ring is removed before any type of activities – such as cleaning, gardening etc. This includes anything which could expose the ring to chemicals or abrasions.