Sign up to our mailing list to receive 10% OFF your first order!


Tanzanite: Everything you need to know

Tanzanite, one of the birthstones of December, is a stunning gem stone recognised for its mesmerising blue/violet colouring. It was only recently discovered in the 1960’s, in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, so it is relatively new and becoming ever more popular.


History of Tanzanite

Tanzanite was first found in the foot hills of Mount Kilimanjaro in 1967, making it a fairly ‘young’ gem stone compared to the likes of diamonds, which date back far to 4th century BC.

It was initially founded by a Masai tribesman, who stumbled across what he thought was a new sapphire deposit. Instead, he had come across a brand new type of stone and what we know today as tanzanite. Tiffany & Co. were the first to recognise the new stone as a potential international seller and became the first main distributor of the stunning blue, highly transparent stone. Tiffany named it after its founding country, and with the help of a major campaign, tanzanite rapidly became a very popular stone, rivalling ruby, sapphire and emerald jewels.

Where is Tanzanite from?

The gem stone tanzanite can only be found in one location in the world – Tanzania. Named after its founding African country, it is unique to the area where it was first and still continues to be found. It is still only found in a very small mining area which is around 7km long and 2km wide, near the Mirerani Hills, making it a rare and highly sought-after gem stone.

Famous Tanzanite

The ‘Queen of Kilimanjario Tiara’ is one of the largest tanzanites weighing in at a massive 242 carats. The famous gem stone sits in the coveted tiara amongst a setting of 804 garnets and 913 diamonds, resembling a hooded king cobra. It is a truly stunning piece fit for royalty!




Tanzanite value

As with other gem stones, the value of a tanzanite gem stone is highly dependent on a number of factors; carat, colour, clarity, cut and more. In today’s market, 1 carat of tanzanite is approximately worth £235 – £335.

Tanzanite buying guide

The below guide will help ensure you get the best value for your money when buying tanzanite. As with most gem stones, the 4 C’s below can all impact one another and it is worth considering what is most important to you when investing in a gem stone, whether it be colour, carat, clarity or cut/shape.

  • Colour: The most vivid and saturated tanzanites tend to be the most valuable. In very valuable tanzanites, the colour will be an intense violet/blue with flashes of red appearing from within the stone. Lighter colours of blue tend to be more common and affordable.
  • Carats: The deepest colours of tanzanites tend to come in weights of 5 carats or more, attaining a higher value. Smaller gem stones tend to be less intense in colour and therefore have a lesser value.
  • Clarity: Tanzanite is known for its highly clear form, and many of the stones on the market today have inclusions which can only be seen under magnification. Visible marks within the stone can reduce its value significantly.
  • Cuts & shapes: The cut of a tanzanite will impact how its colour displays. As it is a pleochroic stone, which means 2 or 3 colours can show when viewed from different angles, the cutting direction can determine its colour.


McGowans Tanzanite

Our experienced and friendly team will always help to guide you through the buying process of any gemstone and will ensure you find the best piece for your taste and budget. You can visit us in store in Glasgow or Aberdeen to discover our range of affordable and beautiful tanzanite jewellery. We have finance options available too.

We sell a range of stunning tanzanite jewellery. You can browse a few of our favourites online, or discover our full selection of tanzanite and other gem stones in stores.

Our online items only represent a small selection of our stock. Please pop in to any of our stores to see the full collection.

If you would like to hear more from McGowans, sign up to our email newsletter here to receive the latest news, updates, offers and competitions.