The African jewel tanzanite, which can only be found at Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, is gaining momentum as one of the best-selling gemstones in the world.
Originally called blue zoisite, tanzanite received its name from Tiffany & Co. to make it more appealing to consumers, and as a reference to its country of origin. It has a sapphire blue colour with violet overtones, which appear after receiving heat treatment. Although tanzanite may be rare, since its discovery in 1967 there have been more than 2 million carats’ worth of the gem released to the jewellery industry.
Tanzanite is more affordable than other popular gems due to its softness. It’s also available in various sizes, making it a popular stone for jewellery. Tanzanite is making its appearance in Australia’s secondary markets, with good-quality pieces in high demand and appearing regularly, and with auction prices ranging from $1,000 to almost $22,000 IBP for tanzanite jewellery.
In June, Leonard Joel’s jewellery auction sold a tanzanite and diamond pendant for $9,700, a heart-cut tanzanite for $6,700, and a tanzanite and diamond ring for $2,400. Although diamonds add significant value, tanzanite has been a bestseller in the last decade, showing that there’s a bright future ahead for the stone.