December: Tanzanite


View Tanzanite Designs

Tanzanite was first identified in the early 1960s when major deposits were found in Tanzania, the East African nation for which the gemstone was named.

The secondary birthstone for December, tanzanite has become a favorite because of it’s noticeable color shift. Tanzanite appears more bluish in daylight and florescent light and more purplish in incandescent light. Tanzanite is carefully oriented by the cutter and the jeweler to show the most attractive color when cut.

Virtually all tanzanite is heat treated to develop it dark purple, violet or blue color. A popular story says that this treatment was recognized when a wildfire changed crystals from their pale brown to rich blue.