This is one of my favourite rings. It has a genuine Tanzanite set in the area of Tanzania on the little African map. The only Tanzanite I have are earring studs and this ring, because tanzanites in the colour I like (violet blue) are too expensive for me to afford. On first glance, it can look like a sapphire or even an amethyst but, upon closer inspection, the mix of purple and blue gives it away as tanzanite

I love Tanzanite. Cheaper ones are very light in colour, but the most expensive ones (which I will never be able to afford) are a deep violet blue. Tanzanites are one of very few trichroic (having three layers of colour) gems. Tanzanites differ in shade (and look different under different lighting conditions) but most of them shift violet, blue-violet, indigo, violet-blue, or blue.

Most Tanzanites are natural, but heat-treated. You do find nicely coloured zirconia stones though, if you want that blue-purple shift without the eye-watering price tag.

Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 in Tanzanite, and this ‘blue zoisite’ was named Tanzanite by Tiffany & Co. Apparently, zoisite sounded too much like suicide. Tanzanite is only found in Simanjiro District of Manyara Region in Tanzania, in a very small mining area in the foothills of Kilimanjaro. It has been one of few gemstones recognised over the past century, and the mining of tanzanite is very strictly regulated and controlled over the small area in which it is found. It is now the birthstone for December, and the anniversary stone for 24 years.

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