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Tanzanite Guide

Tanzanite ring


In 1967, this incredible indigo treasure was discovered at the base of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania after an intense grassland fire that had raged for days and turned the natural grey/ brownstones to intense violets and periwinkles.

Tanzanite is the only gemstone that is found in just one location in the world and what was initially four mines is now only one. This is a gemstone that will be depleted in the time of only one generation, making Tanzanite not only beautiful but also incredibly rare.

Tanzanite ring
Tanzanite jewelry


Tanzanite’s scientific name is Blue Zoisite and was christened Tanzanite by Tiffany & Co who were mesmerized by its utterly unique and vivid blueish purple shades. Tiffany & Co were the first major jeweller to market Tanzanite around the world. First and foremost, as with any coloured gemstone, find a colour that pleases YOUR eye. Some tanzanite are more blue dominant, some more violet. Some are deeply saturated, some are more pastel. We advise Tanzanite lovers to choose the stone that speaks to them – the one that really catches their eye. However, below are some variables that will help you make a more informed decision.

Tanzanite Grading

Many jewellers use a grading system of A, AA, AAA and so on. This is a simplified method to grade tanzanite and we would suggest you find a jeweller that can go into more detail when presenting their collection. The rarest and most desirable of stones are graded from Exceptional to Vivid and then Intense. These stones are often trichloric in colour showing at least three hues of vivid and intense indigo, periwinkle and violet. Some special stones even have undertones of pink, red and bronze. We also suggest looking at Tanzanite gemstones in natural light to truly appreciate the depth of colour.


The shapes that show tanzanite at its best are typically cuts that offer depth which enhances the colour, such as elongated cushion cuts, ovals, trillions and pears.

Tanzanite ring
Tanzanite ring


Tanzanite is a relatively hard gemstone sitting at 6.5 -7 on the MOH’s Scale. For comparison purposes a pearl would be a 2 and a diamond a 10, so Tanzanite can be worn in most all types of jewellery. We would recommend warm ,soapy water for cleaning your Tanzanite jewellery. Ultrasonic and steam cleaners are not recommended.


Tanzanites are generally eye clean and even internally flawless, so clarity should never be a concern when choosing a stone. One of the beauties and benefits of Tanzanite’s lack of inclusions is that it doesn’t suffer from the same risk of cleaving (cracking on an internal inclusion) as many other coloured gemstones do, so Tanzanites are able to be worn and enjoyed


What sets us apart is our people

Serving the Cayman Islands since 1978, Island Jewellers is known for their impressive selection, consistent quality and extremely competitive prices. Our team has been trained by our resident GIA expert and all of our Tanzanites have been hand selected by our Graduate Gemologist who has 30 years of experience in buying these stunning gemstones. www.islandjewellers.com

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