The Story Behind AAA Tanzanite
Tanzanite is a rare gemstone. Only coming from a single source in the world, the gem is one thousand times rarer than diamonds. Even more exclusive is prized AAA tanzanite. This gem represents some of the highest quality for this jewel. Join us as we uncover the story behind this stunning stone.
The History of Tanzanite
Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone, by our understanding. We can trace its discovery to the late 1960s. Found in the Mererani Hills of Tanzania, it was initially considered a cheap substitute gemstone. Early miners thought that it would make a suitable alternative to sapphire.
The stone gets its name from its parent country, Tanzania. It is the blue to violet variety of zoisite. Tales suggest that “blue zoisite” sounds too similar to the phrase “blue suicide,” and might be detrimental to the gem’s future success.
It wasn’t until its depth of color and variety became known that Tanzanite came into its own. Nowadays, we prize this stone for its trichroic properties, in addition to its stunning color. The best specimens display a dark blue, violet, or vibrant burgundy color depending on the viewing angle.
A testament to its growing popularity, the American Gem Society made Tanzanite a birthstone in 2002. This was the first change to the list of modern birthstones since 1912!
The majority of gems are graded on one of four levels, ranging from A to AAAA. AAA Tanzanite is one of the very best grades available on the market! Estimates suggest that only about five percent of all Tanzanite is of this grade or better.
- AAAA – Less than one percent of all material makes this grade. We reserve this stone for the finest jewelry, such as the Iliana and Rhapsody collections. This grade may also be called Vivid.
- AAA – The general highest quality material available, reserved for the very best jewelry. It represents about five percent of all Tanzanite. This grade has a strong representation of blue and violet, with intense flashes of burgundy.
- AA – The standard jewelry grade of Tanzanite. Still very blue to violet in color, the trichroic properties are not as high as those seen in ‘AAA.’ This grade comprises about 20 to 30 percent. This grade may also be called Premium.
- A – Lighter in color than ‘AA’ grade tanzanite, it may not possess all colors seen in the higher grades. The predominant color is lavender blue. This grade represents between 50 to 75 percent of the total tanzanite supply.
- AB – Stones of this grade possess a very faint light blue color. The lowest grade of Tanzanite, it is also the most abundant. Shop LC does not use this grade.
AAA Tanzanite Gemstones
As the highest grade of Tanzanite, AAA Tanzanite is consistent with its striking appearance, truly making it the “Gemstone of a Generation.” With many expecting current supply to become exhausted in the coming decades, there are fewer opportunities available to own this fabulous gem.
Gems of this grade will always be of the highest quality, featuring saturation of a deep blue and intense violet. Flashes of brilliant burgundy should be present when viewing the trichroic properties of the gem.
Longstanding rumors persist that the best grade of Tanzanite comes from Block D of the mine. Many attribute this to an initial find of high-quality rough. However, experts suggest that the material was heated through a wildfire in the region, resulting in this enduring confusion.
In truth, high-grade material can come from any Block.
Collectors appreciate the natural beauty of this stone, while others consider AAA tanzanite to be investment pieces. What do you love about this gem?
Begin your journey and discover AAA Tanzanite for yourself.
Updated April 2021.
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