Shimansky

Tanzanite: Africa’s Rarest Gem

Mon - Sun | 09:00 - 21:00
 
+27 (0)21 421 2788
Level 1 | The Clock Tower | Waterfront | Cape Town
www.shimansky.co.za
enquiries@shimansky.co.za
ShimanskySA
Shimansky
ShimanskyDiamonds

Tanzanite: Africa’s Rarest Gem

A guide to one of the world’s most coveted and sought after precious stones

Tanzanite is one of the rarest gemstones in the world. In fact, it is known to be a thousand times scarcer than diamonds, and with reports that the supply of the precious stone could be completely depleted in 10 to 15 years time, tanzanite is becoming increasingly coveted and sought after. 

So to learn more about this alluring gem, we consulted with leading tanzanite jeweller Shimansky to find out more about the stone’s history and what collectors and customers should look for when buying tanzanite in South Africa.

History of Tanzanite
It was more than 550 million years ago, in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, that Mother Nature yielded this precious gem. Though, as a testament to its rarity, tanzanite remained unknown until 1967, when a prospector named Manuel d’Souza and a Maasai tribesman called Ali Juuyawatu discovered it whilst searching for sapphires. The Tanzanian region still remains the world’s only source of the prized stone.  

What makes Tanzanite a stand-out gemstone?
Tanzanite is uniquely trichroic. This means that in its rough form, it radiates three different colours from each of its crystallographic axes: blue, violet and burgundy. Once cut and polished, tanzanite’s hue ranges from electric violet to vibrant blue to a deep, royal and rich indigo.

What to look for when buying tanzanite
Similar to the manner in which the International Gemological Institute of America evaluates diamonds, the Tanzanite International Grading System values tanzanite according to the Four Cs: colour, clarity, cut and carat weight. The higher the combinations of these characteristics in the gem, the rarer and more valuable the tanzanite stone is.

  • Colour:  intensity and saturation of colour from blue to violet
    The depth of colour ranges from Exceptional to Pale, with a ‘B’ or ‘V’ indicating a predominance of blue or violet hues. The deeper the colour is, the more valuable the tanzanite.
  • Clarity: determining the natural flaws and inclusions in the gem 
    Tanzanite ranges from Eye Clean to Heavily Included (‘included’ meaning crystals that have a dark appearance rather than a clear, transparent appearance). The more flawless the tanzanite, the more valuable it is.
  • Cut: proportion and brilliance
    An ‘Excellent’ cut ensures that the stone’s facets reflect light to create maximum brilliance. The more precise the craftsman’s cutting, the more valuable the tanzanite.
  • Carat: refers to the unit in which the stone is weighed.  One carat= 1/5th of a gram
    One carat has 100 points and weighs 1/5th of a gram. Two seemingly identical pieces of tanzanite will have different carat weights if they vary in depth.

Tanzanite in South Africa and Shimansky’s Ayanda™ Collection
In South Africa, tanzanite remains a popular feature in jewellery pieces and is reportedly among the top five best-selling precious stones in the country. At the forefront of local tanzanite industry is the acclaimed South African jeweller Shimansky. The gemstone purveyor is responsible for the stunning Ayanda, The Queen of Tanzanite collection. This is Shimansky’s exclusive range of quality, handcrafted jewellery that sets tanzanite and diamonds together in magnificently designed rings, earrings, pendants, bracelets and neckpieces. All of Shimansky’s tanzanite is certified in accordance with the Tanzanite International Grading Standard – ensuring that every Shimansky tanzanite creation is of the highest quality.

Fun facts about Tanzanite

  • Its only known source in the world is a 5-km strip of land near Mount Kilimanjaro, northern Tanzania. This single, limited source renders tanzanite at least 1000 times rarer than diamonds.
  • It is the official birthstone for December.
  • Tanzanite has been attributed with qualities of good luck and prosperity and associated with celebrations of new life and new beginnings.
  • Due to its very limited supply and rarity, tanzanite is becoming increasingly recognised as an heirloom.
  • Amongst the Maasai people of Tanzania, the colour blue is seen as sacred and spiritual, and this coupled with its characteristics of new life have brought about a tradition where Tanzanite is given to Maasai women after the birth of a child as an offering of health, positivity and prosperity to the child.
  • The Maasai tribesmen give it to all their newborn children as a bearer of good fortune.
  • Tanzanite is said to have many mystical and healing powers. It supposedly uplifts and opens the heart.
  • The biggest tanzanite in the world is a single large crystal of 16,839 carats that weighs well over 3kg. It has been named “The Mawenzi” after Kilimanjaro’s second highest peak.

Check out the Tanzanite at Shimansky. Entrance will cost R50/p.

---

Read more to find out what you should know about buying diamonds and tanzanite in South Africa.

---

Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, join our Google+ circle, connect with us on LinkedIn, check out our photos on Instagram and follow our Pinterest boards for updates on what’s happening in and around the Mother City!

---

Cape Town Events Calendar
August 2019
SUN MON TUE WED THU FRI SAT
1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 31

Ash_EvansBecome A Video Star

Learn how to handle yourself on camera

blowfish_new_4Half-Price Sushi Every Wednesday and ...

And drink in the sunset and view (and a cocktail)

Jedi Tedi 3Drink Rosé & Find Inner Peace

Yoga, meditation and rosé on tap at this Women’s Day brunch in Milnerton

sounding_the_voidDiscover the Art of Listening At A ...

A free audio exhibition exploring fantasy islands, suits that give you a different ...

Kinky BootsSmash-Hit Kinky Boots Extended To 2020 ...

With music by Cyndi Lauper, several Tonys and a Laurence Olivier Award

chicha4Get To Know Your Wine: Wednesdays are ...

Sample some fine wines and meet the makers behind your favourite tipple

Cherry_Glamping3Team Building is For Bonding, So Ditch ...

Hiking, biking, canopy tours and luxury glamping just 50 minutes outside of Cape Town

zingara_bombay5 Happy Hours, Every Day of The Week

And Cafe Paradiso has a weekend seafood platter special for two

Nom Nom_New1Something New: Invent Your Own Gin at ...

All-new DIY gin bar, double your wine every Wednesday, PLUS: an all-new menu to share

vredenheim_2019_9Picnic Among The Golden Wildebeest on ...

A family game drive with a difference at Vredenheim

kaskaziBoost Your Week With A Hump Day Kayak ...

The chance to see ocean and bird life at sunrise and get to work on time

cocosafar_steak1From Rib Eye To Vegetarian – Here Are ...

Gourmet burgers and steak, as well as cocktails, are now on the menu at this all-day cafe ...

La Paris_Deli2Wednesday Delights at La Paris Deli in ...

A bakery and bistro experience at one of the most beautiful winelands wedding venues, now ...

cartelcafe6Lunch Sorted: A Midweek Buffet At The ...

Fill up your plate and tuck into a tasty lunch spread every Wednesday and Thursday: From ...

two_oceans_aquariumMake Memorable Moments at Cape Town’s ...

Throw a party unlike any other at the Mother City’s underwater wonderland

Comedyclub_new11End Hump Day With a Laugh At The ...

Share the experience at Cape Town Comedy Club in the Waterfront’s Pumphouse every ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

glam_barBeauty Special: Gelish or Shellac Nails ...

Book via Whatsapp: Workday-perfect nail treatments with free rinse and discounts on all ...

OX boat rides 110% Off: See The Marine Big 5 on an ...

Whales, dolphins, penguins, cape fur seals and mola mola (sunfish), an awesome boat trip ...

theatre and film costume hire25% Off Hollywood-Calibre Costume ...

Wednesdays only: Gorgeous vintage cocktail dresses to realistic historical costumes for ...

house of hLook Who's Serving a R50 Lunch Special ...

Loved by locals, House of H now does delicious new lunch specials – from boerie rolls ...

Park Inn_RGB_ItalianDinnerSpecial5All-You-Can-Eat Italian Dinner Special ...

Made fresh right in front of you, with your choice of sauces and toppings – this is one ...

beluga_whisylounge2-for-1 Whisky Wednesdays at Beluga

Your midweek escape just got a whole lot better with the 2-for-1 Wednesday whisky special ...

Nasty Womxn - 4But What If Medusa Had Won?

A sketch art exhibition retelling stories of Greek mythology from a women’s perspective

grub_vine_3Free Wine Tasting Every Wednesday at ...

Grub & Vine’s #VineNight hosts a different wine farm

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

WeatherGiveawaysTravel Tips

Curious to make exciting discoveries in Cape Town every day? "LIKE" us for a daily hidden gem.