Vickie Hallmark | Morning Glory Pendant with tanzanite and amethyst

I remember the first time I saw the brilliant blue-violet color of a tanzanite years ago -- not the blue of a sapphire or the purple of an amethyst, but a color all its own. I was smitten. 

Vickie Hallmark | tanzanite blossom earrings

As a "modern" gemstone, only discovered in 1967 in its namesake Tanzania, it has been immensely popular. Enough so, in fact, to be named as an alternative December birthstone. Tanzanite is a variety of zoisite, but with a color that is only found in a particular small area near Mount Kilimanjaro. The blue intensity of tanzanite is often enhanced by heat treatment. 

Vickie Hallmark | Tanzanite Leaf Drop Pendant

While beautiful, tanzanite is softer than many other gemstones. I typically set it into earrings and necklaces where it won't be subjected to heavy wear that might scratch it. Sharp impacts can cleave tanzanite, so be careful to avoid sharp impacts or drops onto a hard surface (like the tile floor of my studio!).

Vickie Hallmark | Winter Blues earrings with tanzanites

As with all gemstones, take care not to expose your jewelry to acids or other chemicals. When necessary, clean with soap and water, but avoid steam or ultrasonic cleaning for this stone. 


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