How is tanzanite made

Origin and occurrence of precious stones

Gemstones address tendencies that are deeply rooted in our psyche. The mystical beauty, rarity and durability of gemstones could not be explained by humans in the past. In a world where people aged, flowers withered and the sun disappeared on the horizon in the evening, only the gems remained unchanged. People could only explain this by saying that gemstones had to be divine. So the stones were forever connected with the spiritual. This legacy is found in all major religions, from Buddhism to Judaism and Christianity to Islam. For our ancestors, gemstones weren't just a gimmick, they meant a lot more. They were amulets and talismans that were actually believed to have an impact on the course of life.

We have not made it our business to discuss the esoteric properties of gemstones. Our interest in the esoteric aspects is largely a purely historical one, but in addition to mythology, gemstone history, and scientific gemology, it is important to understand the cultural meaning of gemstones. Legends offer us unparalleled insight into how our ancestors saw gemstones and the importance they attached to them. Even today, many people still believe in the healing power of gemstones.

Around three billion to tens of millions of years ago, precious stones were created through processes in the earth's interior. They have come an incredible way since then. Your journey begins around the time our planet is formed. At 4.4 billion years old, a tiny fragment of zircon discovered in Western Australia is the oldest known object in the world. That's pretty impressive when you consider that the earth was only formed less than 150 million years ago! Gemstones have formed in three different types of rock under the earth's surface in a wide variety of environments:

  1. Igneous rock: arises from the cooling and hardening of magma or molten lava (e.g. basalt and granite).
  2. Metamorphic rock: occurs when igneous rock, sedimentary rock or other metamorphic rock undergoes a physical change process due to extreme heat or pressure.
  3. Sedimentary rock: arises from the deposition of sediments (e.g. sandstone).

Although some gemstones are formed in more than one environment, the formation of gemstones can largely be divided into four processes: molten rock and liquids (e.g. amethyst, emerald, garnet, ruby, and sapphire), environmental changes (e.g. Andalusite, kyanite, lapis lazuli, tanzanite and tiger's eye), surface water (e.g. agate, opal and turquoise) and formation in the earth's mantle (e.g. diamond and peridot).

In ancient times, gemstones were usually only discovered by chance when they were found near the surface of the earth. Even today, colored gemstones can only be discovered through observation and a helping of luck. Compared to the intensive scientific methods used to mine diamonds, the procedure for colored gemstones is downright primitive. Mechanization aside, the mining of colored gemstones is essentially the same today as it was a thousand years ago. Persistence, tools and a lot of sweat are still the main components.

A gemstone deposit is where gemstones are found. When mining begins, a deposit becomes a “mine”, and work can be carried out on a deposit in a large number of mines. The most common form of gemstone extraction is alluvial mining. In this process, gemstones are extracted from sedimentary deposits, which are also known as secondary deposits, since the gemstones are not found in the same rock in which they were formed. These deposits are formed by erosion of the bedrock. One looks for it in river beds, sediment deposits under the earth's surface and on the sea floor.

In order to extract the raw gemstones, the extracted earth is either washed with water or sieved. Raw stones from alluvial beds are usually rounded and have scratches and cracks due to weathering processes. However, this is an advantage, as inferior specimens are already weeded out by nature in this way. The mining of a gemstone and its processing into jewelry is relatively quick compared to its infinitely long creation process. From the time of dismantling to its setting in jewelry and its sale, it usually takes about one to three years, but it can only take a few months or even more than ten years.

The supply chain in the colored gem industry is long, and it is not uncommon for a stone to go through seven hands from the mine to the setting to the seller. In his book "Gemstones: Quality and Value, Volume 1", Yasukazu Suwa writes that the current annual mining volume of gemstones is about 1/30 of the total production in the past. Given that mined gemstones can come back onto the market roughly every thirty years, Suwa estimates that this annual volume roughly corresponds to that of newly mined gemstones. And new gemstone deposits are still being discovered (e.g. Paraíba tourmaline from Mozambique), and old sites can resume production (Russian alexandrite). Keeping up to date with the latest locations and keeping an eye on current availability will help you make the right choice when buying.



AAA emerald, emerald


Agate, apatite, chalcedony, fire opal, jelly opal, matrix opal


AAA emerald, agate, amethyst, andalusite, apatite, aquamarine, blue fire opal, chalcedony, chrysoberyl, citrine, fire opal, fluorite, green amethyst, sky blue topaz, indigolite, imperial topaz, carnelian, kunzite, London blue topaz, moonstone, morganite, mysticism -Topaz, Paraíba tourmaline, petalite, pink tourmaline, rose quartz, rubellite, Swiss blue topaz, emerald, sphen, tiger's eye




Amethyst, citrine, carnelian

United States

Chalcedony, morganite, peridot, turquoise




Aquamarine, Blue Sapphire, Heliodor, Indigolite, Kunzite, Mandarin Garnet, Multicolored Tourmaline, Paraíba Tourmaline, Pink Tourmaline, Rubellite


Fire opal


AAA tanzanite, AAA Tanzanian ruby, alexandrite, aquamarine, blue sapphire, blue spinel, chalcedony, chrysoberyl, citrine, noble red spinel, indigolite, malachite, mandarin garnet, moonstone, padparadscha colored sapphire, peridot, pink colored sapphire, pink colored spinel Pink tourmaline, purple spinel, rhodolite, rose quartz, rubellite, Spessartine, Tanzanian ruby, tanzanite, tsavorite, white sapphire, zircon




AAA emerald, AAA aquamarine, amethyst, aquamarine, chrysoberyl, citrine, malachite, emerald

South Africa

Agate, chalcedony, peridot, rose quartz, tiger's eye


Blue-green tourmaline, indigolite


Amethyst, blue sapphire, indigolite, peridot, ruby, tsavorite


Alexandrite, amethyst, apatite, aquamarine, blue sapphire, chalcedony, chrysoberyl, citrine, noble red spinel, fancy sapphire, hemimorphite, indigolite, iolite, carnelian, kunzite, labradorite, moonstone, morganite, padparadscha-colored sapphire, pink-colored sapphire, rhodolite, Rubellite, Ruby, Sunstone, Sphen, Star Ruby, White Sapphire


Andalusite, apatite, aquamarine, citrine, indigolite, copper tourmaline, Mozambique garnet, Paraíba tourmaline, rose quartz, rubellite, ruby, star ruby


Chrysoberyl, emerald


Aquamarine, demantoid, malachite, mandarin garnet, morganite, tiger's eye




Kunzite, lapis lazuli, peridot, emerald, sphene




Kunzite, lapis lazuli, morganite, peridot, turquoise


AAA emerald, amber, chrysoberyl, chrysoberyl cat's eye, demantoid, heliodor, morganite, Russian diopside, emerald, white topaz






Blue sapphire, jade (nephrite), labradorite, peridot, freshwater cultured pearl, turquoise


Agate, alexandrite, chalcedony, chrysoberyl, fluorite, iolite, carnelian, labradorite, moonstone, rhodolite, ruby, sunstone, star ruby, tiger's eye, turquoise


Freshwater cultured pearl

Myanmar (Burma)

Jade, ruby, star ruby

Sri Lanka (Ceylon)

Andalusite, apatite, blue sapphire, chrysoberyl, chrysoberyl cat's eye, fancy sapphire, indigolite, iolite, carnelian, moonstone, padparadscha sapphire, padparadscha sapphire, pink sapphire, rhodolite, ruby, sphene, star ruby, white sapphire


Blue sapphire, ratanakiri zircon


Blue sapphire, noble red spinel, padparadscha sapphire, pink spinel, purple spinel, ruby, star ruby


Blue sapphire, fancy sapphire, ruby, black star sapphire


Australia & Oceania


Blue Sapphire, Chrysoprase, Fancy Sapphire, Half Black Opal, Jelly Opal, Matrix Opal, Black Opal, South Sea Pearl, Tiger Eye, White Opal


Tahitian pearl


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