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The December Birthstone: Exploring the Beauty of Tanzanite

April 13, 2023

Rarer than diamonds, with a history rich in folklore––the blue meets violet-hued Tanzanite is a popular December birthstone. Those born in December aren’t short on choice, with four enchanting blue gemstones representing them, including Blue Topaz, Blue Zircon, Tanzanite and Turquoise.

Tanzanite officially became the most recent addition to the December birthstone family in 2002. This article will explore the history, physical characteristics, symbolism, and care tips for Tanzanite. Get ready to fall in love.


History and Origins of Tanzanite

It is said that the gem was first discovered by Maasai herders in 1967 in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, and promptly given its name of Tanzanite by Tiffany & Co. After recognising the gem's potential post-discovery, the iconic jeweller became a primary global distributor. To increase consumer recognition of the striking blue-violet stone, they named it in honour of its African host country, Tanzania. 

While it is a variety of the mineral zoisite, its blue-violet hue is the result of minerals found only as a result of the geological conditions found in their birthplace. Rumour has it that Tanzanite was created when tectonic plate activity and intense heat formed Mount Kilimanjaro. The two plates contained various minerals, morphing together and resulting in a particular mix known as Tanzanite, which has not been discovered anywhere else in the world.

Its exquisite beauty and rarity make it a popular choice for engagement rings, pendants, earrings, and other types of jewellery.


Physical Characteristics of Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a unique gemstone that is prized for its stunning blue-violet colour. It is a relatively soft stone with a Mohs hardness of 6.5-7 (diamonds are a 10, in comparison), making it susceptible to scratches and chips.

Regarding clarity, Tanzanite is often found with natural inclusions, which can affect its value. In terms of cut, Tanzanite is typically faceted to maximise its brilliance and beauty. Tanzanite is often compared to sapphire and blue topaz due to its blue colour, but its unique violet hue sets it apart.


Symbolism and Meaning of Tanzanite

Tanzanite is believed to have spiritual and healing properties and is associated with the throat chakra and the astrological sign of Sagittarius. Thought to promote communication, intuition, and spiritual growth, Tanzanite is also said to have a calming effect on the mind and body––making it an ideal stone for meditation and relaxation.

In different cultures, the meaning and symbolism of Tanzanite vary. In African culture, Tanzanite represents new beginnings and possibilities, symbolising good luck and prosperity. In the Western world, Tanzanite is often given as a gift to celebrate a 24th wedding anniversary.


Tips and Tricks for Keeping Tanzanite Looking Its Best

Tanzanite is a beautiful and unique gemstone that requires proper care to maintain its beauty. Here are our top tips for keeping your Tanzanite jewellery looking its best:

Store your Tanzanite jewellery separately: Tanzanite is a relatively soft stone that can easily scratch or chip. To prevent damage, store your Tanzanite jewellery in a soft cloth or pouch, and keep it separate from other jewellery.

Clean your Tanzanite jewellery regularly: To maintain its shine and brilliance, clean it regularly with a soft cloth, mild soap, and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or ultrasonic cleaners, which can damage the stone.

Avoid exposing Tanzanite to extreme temperatures: Tanzanite is sensitive to temperature changes, so avoid exposing it to extreme heat or cold.



Tanzanite is one of four unique gemstones representing the December birthstone. The thought of having a precious object with individual sentiment is why we hold our precious jewellery in such high esteem and close to our hearts––making it worthy of the utmost protection.

JewelCover offers comprehensive jewellery insurance coverage to protect your precious Tanzanite jewellery from loss, theft, damage or wear and tear. Don't take any chances with your valuable jewellery – get an instant jewellery insurance quote from JewelCover today and enjoy peace of mind knowing your Tanzanite jewellery is protected.


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