From deep in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania comes tanzanite, a gemstone with only a single known source that has become one of the most intriguing and desirable precious gemstones of modern times. It is a variety of the mineral zoisite and varies from blue, to violet, or purple in colour. Described as ‘a geological phenomenon’, tanzanite is 1,000 times more rare than diamonds. Tanzanite jewellery is extremely valuable and coveted, both for the gem’s rarity, as well as its beauty.


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When tanzanite was first discovered in Tanzania in 1967, the local people were torn in their feelings about this precious new gem. On the one hand, it provided work for many who needed an income, but on the other, there were various concerns about the ways in which it was mined. In the early days, rumours of mining accidents and dangerous working conditions were prominent in the Tanzanian communities. Furthermore, local people were concerned that with the influx of foreigners and foreign companies mining in the area, the majority of the funds generated were being taken out of Tanzania, instead of boosting the Tanzanian economy.

Today, tanzanite is mined ethically in safe and fair working conditions. This unique gem brings an income to thousands of people, and has had a major impact on the Tanzanian economy. Thanks to the purchases of tanzanite, the day-to-day lives of people in the local communities has improved significantly. The Maasai tribe and people in surrounding areas of Tanzania have access to an income, and better living conditions.


When buying tanzanite in South Africa, be sure to select a reputable jeweller, and be sure to purchase from a jeweller that offers a Certificate of Authenticity which states your chosen tanzanite’s characteristics, and an Ethical Compliance Certificate stating that the Tanzanite was mined in an ethical manner. Do not purchase tanzanite without any certification, especially if it is offered at a very low price. Without certification, it is impossible to know the authenticity or value of the gemstone.

The Shimansky Ayanda Queen of Tanzanite collection offers beautiful tanzanite jewellery creations and loose stones, including tanzanite rings, earrings, necklaces, pendants and bracelets. Each tanzanite stone or jewellery creation comes with an Ayanda Tanzanite Certificate, which states the stone’s authentication, and unique characteristics. Shimansky tanzanite is graded according to Tanzanite International grading standards, and is sourced ethically and conflict-free. When you purchase tanzanite from Shimansky you can rest assured that your precious gemstone is not only of the finest quality and the rarest of the rare, but it is an authentic stone that was mined lawfully, and most importantly, ethically.

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