Showing off tanzanite’s smoother side

© Written by Rachael Taylor for JewelleryNetAsia

Tanzanite is a unique gemstone for many reasons, and one of those is that unlike most other gems it is only found in one place and that single supply in Tanzania could run out very soon.

According to an independent report created for the London Stock Exchange in 2013 there could be just 30 years left of tanzanite mining – a figure that experts working on the ground in Tanzania agree with. And as we all know, when the supply of a gemstone looks to be in jeopardy, value and desirability shoot up.

As such, many designers are choosing to work with tanzanite right now in reaction to increasing customer demand. The gem is being used in a variety of forms, each showing off the wonderful trichroic properties of the gem that allow it to look blue, violet and burgundy from different angles.

While faceted tanzanite is still hugely popular, and designers such as Wallace Chan have been creating new designs set with them, an emerging trend is for smoother interpretations of the gem.

Tiffany & Co, the company that gave the gemstone its name in 1968 after signing up as its distributor shortly after it was first found, has set a pair of tanzanite cabochon drops in diamond-set platinum. Mikimoto meanwhile has used what it refers to as tumbled tanzanite in its new Hyacinthia baroque pearl collection and Jewellery Theatre has created a ring with an incredible, undulating piece of tanzanite at the centre that it calls baroque tanzanite.

Whether smooth and shapely or sharply faceted and uniform, this colour-changing stone is capturing the attentions of many, and quite rightly so.

This article was originally published on JewelleryNetAsia on 12.06.15. I write a weekly column for this website about global jewellery trends. 

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