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Home / Blog / Jewelry Education / December Birthstone: Tanzanite Color, Meaning & More

December Birthstone: Tanzanite Color, Meaning & More

Tanzanite: December Birthstone Facts

Tanzanite Color: Ranges in color from deep blue to violet

Tanzanite Mohs Hardness Scale Rating: 6-7

Tanzanite Symbolism & Meaning: Wisdom, truth, and dignity 

Tanzanite Zodiac Signs: Sagittarius and Capricorn

Other Recognitions: Traditional gift for the 24th wedding anniversary

tanzanite gemstone

What is Tanzanite?

Tanzanite is a rare variety of the common mineral zoisite colored by atoms of strontium. It features a unique, strong characteristic, called pleochroism, which allows tanzanite to show two different colors at the same time. It is found in the ground only in the Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. It naturally occurs in yellow, golden brown, green, blue, and purple. This gem was discovered in 1967 and has increased in popularity in part due to its color-changing properties.

Tanzanite Color, Characteristics & Value

Ranging in color from blue to violet, tanzanite is a pleochroic crystal, meaning it changes depending on the light and the direction from which it is viewed. In its original form, dark blue, brown-yellow, and red-purple can be seen in the same stone. After cutting, tanzanite is routinely heated to achieve its rich violet-blue color. This treatment is fully accepted in the trade, is permanent, and no fading will occur. No special care is needed to keep tanzanite this rich color. In natural light, the purple and violet colors are more apparent. In fluorescent lights, the blues are more evident. Tanzanite is often free of inclusions.

Gem quality tanzanite is rare and the raw pieces are often small. It must be handled and cut with care as it is a brittle crystal.

Tanzanite Color, Characteristics & Value

Ranging in color from blue to violet, tanzanite is a pleochroic crystal, meaning it changes depending on the light and the direction from which it is viewed. In its original form, dark blue, brown-yellow, and red-purple can be seen in the same stone. After cutting, tanzanite is routinely heated to achieve its rich violet-blue color. This treatment is fully accepted in the trade, is permanent, and no fading will occur. No special care is needed to keep tanzanite this rich color. In natural light, the purple and violet colors are more apparent. In fluorescent lights, the blues are more evident. Tanzanite is often free of inclusions.

Gem quality tanzanite is rare and the raw pieces are often small. It must be handled and cut with care as it is a brittle crystal.

Tanzanite Care & Cleaning

Tanzanite will easily clean with a gentle solution made specifically for jewelry or warm soapy water. Have your jewelry professionally cleaned and checked three to four times a year. When not worn, tanzanite jewelry should be stored in a jewelry box lined with soft fabric. Never clean your tanzanite with an ultrasonic cleaner.

tanzanite necklace

Tanzanite Jewelry & Gift Ideas

Whether you are shopping for yourself or someone else, Borsheims has an extensive selection of tanzanite jewelry in various styles. Tanzanite is a popular gift option for those celebrating December birthdays and those commemorating their 24th wedding anniversary. If you need help picking out the perfect piece of tanzanite jewelry, one of our experts would be happy to assist you. Stop into our store or text or call 402.391.0400 during store hours to speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable sales associates.