Home Knowledges The Hardness of Tanzanite: A Gem of Mesmerizing Beauty

The Hardness of Tanzanite: A Gem of Mesmerizing Beauty

by Madonna

Tanzanite, a gemstone of enchanting beauty, has taken the world by storm with its captivating blue and violet hues. But just how hard is tanzanite? In this article, we will explore the hardness of tanzanite and delve into its remarkable properties, its significance in the realm of gemology, and the factors that influence its durability.

A Gem Born in the Shadows of Mount Kilimanjaro

Tanzanite, often referred to as the “gemstone of a generation,” was discovered in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania in the 1960s. This rare gemstone is a variety of the mineral zoisite and is celebrated for its unique trichroic property, displaying different colors from different angles, ranging from vibrant blues to rich violets. Its captivating colors have earned it a place in the hearts of gem enthusiasts worldwide.


See Also: What Color Should Tanzanite Be: What You Need To Know


The Pleochroism of Tanzanite

The mesmerizing color play of tanzanite, known as pleochroism, is a result of its distinct crystal structure. Tanzanite crystals are trichroic, meaning they show three different colors depending on the angle of observation. In tanzanite’s case, these colors often include blue, violet, and burgundy. This pleochroic quality contributes to tanzanite’s allure and makes it a unique gem in the world of fine jewelry.


Evaluating the Hardness of Tanzanite

To understand the hardness of tanzanite, we turn to the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, a fundamental tool in gemology. This scale rates minerals based on their ability to resist scratching, with 1 being the softest and 10 being the hardest. Tanzanite’s hardness, as determined by the Mohs scale, offers insights into its durability and suitability for various types of jewelry.

Tanzanite has a hardness that ranges from 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale. This places it in the same hardness range as some other well-known gemstones, such as peridot, garnet, and quartz. While tanzanite is not as hard as sapphires or diamonds, it is sufficiently durable for most types of jewelry, including rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

Factors Affecting Tanzanite’s Durability

The hardness of tanzanite, like other gemstones, is influenced by various factors:

1. Cleavage:

Tanzanite has distinct cleavage planes, which are areas of weakness where the crystal is more likely to split. Jewelers must cut and set tanzanite carefully to avoid these planes and prevent damage.

2. Wear and Tear:

While tanzanite is durable enough for everyday wear, it is not completely impervious to abrasions and scratches. Over time, tanzanite jewelry may develop surface wear, especially if it is exposed to harsh conditions.

3. Mounting and Setting:

The way tanzanite is mounted and set in jewelry can significantly affect its durability. Protective settings, such as bezel settings, can shield the gem from potential damage.

Tanzanite Care and Maintenance

To ensure the longevity and luster of tanzanite jewelry, proper care and maintenance are crucial. Here are some tips to keep your tanzanite pieces looking their best:

1. Gentle Cleaning:

Clean tanzanite jewelry with a soft brush and mild detergent, using warm water. Avoid harsh chemicals and ultrasonic cleaners, as they can potentially damage the stone.

2. Avoid Impact:

While tanzanite is durable, it is not immune to impact and may chip or break if struck against a hard surface. Remove tanzanite jewelry during activities that may expose it to impacts.

3. Storage:

Store tanzanite jewelry separately from other pieces to prevent scratches. Consider using soft pouches or jewelry boxes with individual compartments.

4. Periodic Inspection:

Have your tanzanite jewelry inspected by a professional jeweler periodically to check for loose stones or any signs of damage.

5. Energetic Cleansing:

Some believe that crystals and gemstones, including tanzanite, benefit from energetic cleansing methods such as smudging with sage, bathing in saltwater, or exposure to moonlight.

See Also: How to Tell Real Tanzanite from Fake: A Step-By-Step Guide

The Rarity and Beauty of Tanzanite

Tanzanite’s allure extends beyond its hardness. Its rarity and stunning color play contribute to its desirability and value. Here are some factors that make tanzanite a gem of exceptional beauty:

1. One-Source Gemstone

Tanzanite is one of the few gemstones that can be traced back to a single source: Tanzania. The Merelani Hills are the sole known deposit of this precious gem, making tanzanite a unique and limited resource.

2. Color Range

Tanzanite’s trichroic quality allows it to display a range of captivating colors, from deep blues to rich violets and even hints of burgundy. This color play gives tanzanite its distinct character and charm.

3. Heat Treatment

Many tanzanite gemstones undergo heat treatment to enhance their colors. This common practice can intensify the blues and violets within the stone, resulting in the stunning hues that tanzanite is known for.

4. Fashion and Celebrity Endorsement

Tanzanite has gained popularity and recognition in the world of fashion and entertainment. Celebrities and designers have embraced tanzanite, further enhancing its desirability as a gemstone of choice for high-end jewelry.

The Versatility of Tanzanite

Tanzanite’s unique color and remarkable properties make it a versatile gemstone for a variety of jewelry styles and occasions. Here are some of the ways in which tanzanite is used in jewelry:

1. Tanzanite Rings:

Tanzanite is a popular choice for engagement and cocktail rings, where its captivating blue-violet hues add a touch of elegance and originality.

2. Tanzanite Earrings:

Earrings featuring tanzanite gems are cherished for their beauty and versatility. They can complement both formal and casual attire.

3. Tanzanite Necklaces:

Tanzanite pendants and necklaces showcase the gem’s captivating color and are perfect for adding a pop of color to any outfit.

4. Tanzanite Bracelets:

Bracelets adorned with tanzanite are appreciated for their captivating appeal. They can be worn as statement pieces or as part of a jewelry stack.

The Allure of Tanzanite: A Gem with Character

Tanzanite’s hardness, while not on par with some of the hardest gemstones like sapphires or diamonds, is sufficient for most types of jewelry. Its unique pleochroism, remarkable color range, rarity, and versatility make it a gem with undeniable character and appeal. As you admire the captivating blue and violet hues of tanzanite, you are also appreciating the geological forces and artistry that have shaped this remarkable gem over millions of years.

FAQs About Tanzanite

Tanzanite, with its captivating blue and violet hues, is a gemstone that has piqued the interest of jewelry enthusiasts and gem lovers around the world. In this FAQ section, we address common questions about the hardness of tanzanite and its significance in the world of gemology.

Q1: Is tanzanite suitable for use in engagement rings?

A1: Yes, tanzanite is suitable for use in engagement rings. While it may not be as hard as sapphires or diamonds, it is still durable enough for everyday wear. Tanzanite engagement rings are favored for their captivating color and unique character.

Q2: Can tanzanite jewelry be worn daily?

A2: Yes, tanzanite jewelry can be worn daily, but it’s essential to take some precautions. While tanzanite is relatively durable, it is not impervious to wear and tear. Remove tanzanite jewelry during activities that may expose it to impacts, and consider protective settings like bezel settings.

Q3: What gives tanzanite its color?

A3: The captivating blue and violet hues of tanzanite result from trace elements, particularly vanadium, within its crystal structure. This pleochroic gemstone displays different colors from different angles, creating its distinct color play.

Q4: Can tanzanite undergo any treatments to enhance its color?

A4: Many tanzanite gemstones undergo heat treatment to enhance their colors. This common practice can intensify the blues and violets within the stone, resulting in the stunning hues that tanzanite is known for.

Q5: How has tanzanite been received in the world of fashion and jewelry?

A5: Tanzanite has gained popularity in the world of fashion and jewelry, with celebrities and designers embracing its beauty. Its stunning color play and rarity make it a gem of exceptional desirability.


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