Gemstone Spotlight: Tanzanite

tanzanite-UCG

Pear shape tanzanite and diamond ring by United Color Gems.

We often come across a gemstone that inspires us to learn more about its origins and history, as we search out jewelry designs that feature it. Today’s blog spotlights the alternative birthstone for a month other than this one, December. We’re referring to tanzanite.

Tanzanite is the exquisite blue variety of the mineral zoisite that is only found in one part of the world. Named for its limited geographic origin in Tanzania, tanzanite has quickly risen to popularity since its relatively recent discovery.

Zoisite had been around more than a century and a half before this rare blue variety was found in 1967. Trace amounts of vanadium, mixed with extreme heat, cause the blue color – which ranges from pale blue to intense ultramarine with violet undertones.

Due to pleochroism—an optical phenomenon in which a substance displays different colors when seen from different angles—tanzanite must be cut properly to highlight the more attractive blue and violet hues, and deemphasize the undesirable brown tones.

The majority of tanzanite on the market today is heat treated to minimize the brown colors found naturally and to enhance the blue shades that can rival sapphire.

Tanzanite is still only found on a few square miles of land in Tanzania, near majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. Its price and availability are directly tied to mines in this region.

Between its deep blue color and its limited supply, tanzanite is treasured by many—whether you happen to be born in December or not!

 

If you’re drawn to the eye-catching blue, violet, and purple hues of tanzanite, contact an AGS credentialed jeweler near you to find a design that best suits you!

Upcoming Jewelry Trends

By Randi Molofsky

With the leading jewelry event in North America—JCK Las Vegas—just around the corner, we’d like to take a look at another big jewelry show that happened this past March: Baselworld.

Held annually in the Swiss town of Basel, close to both the French and German borders, Baselworld does everything big: the massive booths that look like Fifth Avenue boutiques; the rare and exceptional gemstones for sale; and even the supersized beers and brats available on nearly every corner.

So how does someone not on the front lines make sense of such a huge show? We went straight to some of the biggest names in U.S. jewelry publications to find out their favorite trend from Baselworld so we can get a glimpse of what’s to come, then we paired those trends with AGS member jewelry and watches. Here’s what they were loving:

Victoria Gomelsky

Victoria Gomelsky, Editor in Chief, JCK magazine

Watch brands across the price spectrum embraced black-on-black styles, mostly through the use of matte black PVD coatings, for an overall effect that was stylish and vaguely futuristic.

new-rolex-explorer-luminous-watch-dial

Rolex Oyster Perpetual Explorer

LeVian

Le Vian black diamond watch from the Classico Series.

 

Michelle-Graff-1

Michelle Graff, Editor in Chief, National Jeweler

One trend I noticed with both the watch brands and jewelry designers was this whole idea of designing jewelry and watches that can work for both day and evening wear —something that’s not too flashy to wear around your office during the day but will still get noticed at night. I realize this is probably not a brand-new trend but, in my opinion, it was mentioned more than ever before at Baselworld this year, particularly among the watch brands.

I think this trend is a by-product of two factors: First, our society overall is more casual and people rarely, if ever, get dressed up anymore so they are seeking more casual jewelry; and second, the fact that there are more women in the workforce than ever before. In other words, whatever women put on in the morning is what they are wearing out that night, so it needs to work all day.

Simon G

Simon G. Jewelry diamond ring in 18k white gold from the Garden collection.

Simon G bracelet

Simon G. Jewelry diamond bangle in 18k white and rose gold from the Fabled collection.

 

GEMFIELDS hosts U.S. Launch and Private Dinner

Tanya Dukes, Senior Editor at InDesign and InStore magazines

What I loved was the unrestrained use of color. From big time brands to independent designers, there was a surfeit of stones in upbeat colors virtually everywhere. It was great to see them in unexpected places, liked mixed with pearls or used as a watch’s dial. And plenty of jewelry brands and watchmakers introduced designs with a rainbow’s worth of hues in a single piece, but with totally sophisticated, un-kitschy results.

Lika Behar

Lika Behar 24K Yellow Gold and Oxidized Sterling Rings with assorted gemstones.

Goshwara

Goshwara multi-gemstone earrings from the Gossip collection.

If you’re looking for jewelry designs like those displayed above, visit our Find a Jeweler search for an AGS credentialed jeweler near you.