If you're a fan of birthstones, you might be interested to know that the month of December has a rather special gemstone associated with it. It's a gorgeous blue-purple stone that's found exclusively in one place in the world - Tanzania! That's right, we're talking about tanzanite. So what is this stone, and why is it so unique?
Tanzanite is a type of mineral called zoisite, and it was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967. It's a relatively new gemstone compared to many others, but it's gained a lot of popularity in recent years. Tanzanite is known for its striking blue-violet color, and it's often used in jewelry. In fact, it's become so popular that it's now considered one of the "big three" colored gemstones, along with emerald and ruby.
The unique color of tanzanite is caused by the presence of trace amounts of vanadium in the crystal structure. When heated to a certain temperature, the stone can change color from blue to violet or even red. This process is called "heat treatment" and is commonly used in the jewelry industry to enhance the stone's color.
One of the things that makes tanzanite so special is that it's only found in one place in the world - the Mererani Hills in northern Tanzania. The area where tanzanite is found is relatively small, only about eight square kilometers, and the supply of tanzanite is limited. This scarcity has driven up the price of tanzanite in recent years, making it one of the more expensive gemstones.
Tanzanite has a rich history, and it's been used for many purposes throughout the years. Some African tribes used tanzanite in their rituals and ceremonies, and it was believed to have healing properties. In more recent years, tanzanite has become a popular choice for engagement rings and other types of jewelry.
So if you're a December baby, tanzanite might just be the perfect birthstone for you. It's a unique gemstone that's sure to turn heads and make a statement. And if you're looking for a piece of tanzanite jewelry, just remember that it's a rare gemstone, so you might have to pay a little extra to get your hands on it. But trust us, it's worth it!