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Tanzanite was discovered in the Merelani Hills, just outside of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania in the 1960s. Tiffany & Co. named the stone tanzanite after its country of origin and brought it to market with a massive advertising push in 1968. In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association added tanzanite as a birthstone for December. It is also a traditional gemstone gift for 24th wedding anniversaries.
What Is Tanzanite?
Tanzanite is a sub-variety of the mineral zoisite that occurs only in the East African country of Tanzania. The semi-precious gemstone is characterized by a radiant blue-violet hue.
Celebrity jeweler Kyle Chan loves the idea of tanzanite or colored gemstone engagement rings because they're more in line with modern values—and modern economic realities. “The colored stone trend is good because you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg,” he adds. “You can put that money to better use, like buying a house or a car.”
Meet the Expert
Kyle Chan is a Los Angeles-based fine jeweler. His designs have been worn by celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Carrie Underwood. His jewelry was also featured in the 2016 film La La Land.
Here's everything you need to know about tanzanite engagement rings.
Pros and Cons of Tanzanite Rings
Tanzanite stones are known for their “fire" or sparkle. The highest quality tanzanites have a deep, even hue that can range from a royal blue tinged with violet to a brilliant violet. At smaller carat sizes, tanzanite is generally more affordable than the similarly-hued sapphire (as well as diamonds and other precious gemstones), but it still offers the same rarity and reflective characteristics that make an engagement ring feel special. Tanzanite is also a softer stone on the Mohs scale (it ranks in between 6.5 and 7, whereas diamonds are a 10), so it’s important to protect tanzanite jewelry when traveling. Failing to do so could scratch or damage your stone.
What to Look for in a Tanzanite Ring
• Is tanzanite more affordable compared to other gemstones? Tanzanite is typically less costly than precious gemstones such as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, but that can change when you’re dealing with tanzanites of larger carat sizes.
• What should I be aware of when shopping for tanzanite rings? As with all translucent gemstones, you want to be sure your tanzanite is free of inclusions within the stone, and that the corners are not chipped or fractured.
• What should I check concerning a tanzanite stone’s color? You’ll also want to check that the color is even throughout. For an easy test, Chan recommends turning the stone upside down and putting it against a white piece of paper.
How to Care For Your Tanzanite Ring
Soap and water is a safe way to clean a tanzanite ring, although Chan says to avoid brushes. Chan recommends placing your ring in a plastic bag before putting it in a travel jewelry pouch so that diamonds and other stones do not scratch it.
Ready to start shopping for your tanzanite engagement ring? Find several dazzling options ahead.
Tiffany Soleste® Ring
All eyes will definitely be on you when you wear this 1.25ct pear-cut tanzanite surrounded by a sparkling double-halo of brilliant diamonds. The platinum setting lets the gemstone's natural brilliance shine through.
Gemvara Princess-Cut Lara Ring
Want to feel like royalty every day? Look no further than this dazzling princess-cut tanzanite with a diamond and tanzanite pavé band. The V-prong setting provides extra security.
Ben Bridge Jeweler Tanzanite and Diamond Ring
The truncated triple-halo on this vintage-inspired style gives an air of old-world elegance to this beautiful oval tanzanite engagement ring.
Effy Jewelry Tanzanite Royale Tanzanite and Diamond Ring
It’s not every day you see a baguette diamond halo, but that’s why this 4.49ct emerald-cut tanzanite needs to show off all its angles. Capture this 14k white gold stunner in all of its glory with a ring selfie or two.
Angara Thin Shank Cushion-Cut Tanzanite Ring With Diamond Accents
Claw prongs, a thin shank, and gallery diamonds allow a radiant cushion-cut tanzanite stone to shine in this delicate ring. What catches our eye the most, however, is the gemstone's captivating bluish-violet hue.
Zales Enchanted Disney Ultimate Princess Tanzanite Engagement Ring
Channel your inner Disney princess with this exquisite violet-blue tanzanite engagement ring. With a scalloped halo of diamonds surrounding the center stone and diamonds adorning the split-shank band, there's no shortage of sparkle factor.