Terrific Tanzanite

Tanzanite is known for its unusual purple colour which ranges from lilac to violet. Formed around 585 million years ago, this gemstone was formed in an area which would later be known as Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite can only be found in Tanzania in a very small mining area near the Merelani Hills. 

Originally named ‘blue zoisite’, Tiffany & Co renamed this stone shortly after its discovery as ‘tanzanite’ as they thought that its original name was not consumer friendly. Tanzanite is considered a relatively new gemstone with its discovery only 54 years ago in 1967. Tiffany & Co introduced this stone to the market in 1968 and it has remained popular ever since. Their original marketing campaign stated that the stone ‘could now be found in two places; in Tanzania and at Tiffany’s’

Many people find sapphire stones too dark or too blue so tanzanite is the perfect alternative if you are a lover of the colour purple. As with all gemstones, prices vary depending on the colour and saturation of the stone. Strong violet stones command the highest prices as they are the rarest whilst pastel lilac stones are plentiful and come at a more affordable price point. 

The Jewellery Auction to be held on the 25 July includes tanzanite stones of various colours and prices. Lot 338 is an example of a rare tanzanite. This certificated cluster ring includes a 3.00 carat tanzanite with a colour grade of ‘medium violet blue’. The bright white gold setting and diamonds emphasises the violet hue to the stone. Estimate £2000 - £2500.

On the affordable end of the scale, lot 369 is a pair of tanzanite earrings. Smaller stones are more likely to have a lilac hue as opposed to a deeper purple. These stones are plentiful and therefore are less expensive to buy. Estimate £40 - £60. 


With tanzanite and other colourful gemstones featuring in this auction, click the link below to view the catalogue. >>

Amy Cameron


McTear’s sells more jewellery than any other traditional auction house in the dedicated jewellery auctions that take place twice monthly, run concurrently live online on a platform that attracts six million visitors annually from over 120 countries worldwide.

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