Setting tanzanite into jewellery
Tanzanite is a unique and beautiful gem that comes to life when set in a pair of earrings, a bracelet, a necklace or a ring. Exceptionally beautiful and unique, tanzanite jewellery has become sought-after all over the world. However, it is important to note that not any jeweller can work with this unique gem. On the Moh’s Scale of Hardness, tanzanite is relatively soft with a hardness of 6.5 - 7. This is much softer than, for instance, a diamond, which has a hardness of 10.
This means that tanzanite is a stone with lower durability than diamonds and many other gems, and it is more prone to chipping than most traditional gemstones. As a result, great care must be taken by the jeweller who sets the stone, as well as by the person who wears the final jewellery creation. This is especially true when the tanzanite gem is worn in a ring, as it is more likely to get bumped or knocked during everyday activities.
In addition to being vulnerable to damage when worn, tanzanite is also vulnerable when set in a jewellery creation. Tanzanite’s inherent division means that its structure is sometimes under threat during the setting process. It is very sensitive to heat, or sudden changes in temperature, which is why equipment like jewellery steam cleaners are best avoided around this precious gem. If exposed to changes in temperature, the stone could easily fracture, which affects not only its beauty, but also its value. In addition, tanzanite’s cleavage also makes it vulnerable to fracturing if cleaned in an ultrasonic cleaner.
Tanzanite already appreciates in value every year, but once supplies begin to run low, the gem is expected to significantly increase in value. Experts believe that once the supply of tanzanite is exhausted, it will reach an all-time high value, and prices of the gem are expected to rise dramatically. Like in all industries, prices are affected by supply and demand. The demand for tanzanite continues to rise, but the supply is slowly decreasing.
Once tanzanite is depleted, there will be no more first time owners of this precious gem, and buyers hoping to acquire their very own tanzanite stone or tanzanite jewellery creation will have to be willing to spend a bit more than they currently would. As a result, tanzanite rings, earrings, necklaces and bracelets are expected to become precious family heirlooms (although in many cases one can say that they already are!).
Because of the decreasing availability, buying tanzanite in South Africa is considered a very good investment. Not only does it appreciate, and is likely to fetch a much higher price in the future than it does now, but it is also a unique gem to pass down to future generations.