Tanzanite Durability For Jewelry

Tanzanite Durability For Jewelry

There has been much discussion related to the topic of tanzanite durability and its suitability for wear in various jewelry. Please refer to our technical discussion of this topic here in Section 2, titled "Tanzanite Hardness.".

Actually, tanzanite is a durable gemstone with many appropriate uses within the jewelry trade. Perhaps the #1 use for tanzanite is when it is set into a ring. Once they acquire their loose tanzanite from us, we recommend to our clients that they select a setting for their tanzanite which provides at least minimal protection to the stone. Tiffany 4 or 6 prong mounts, while beautiful, do not provide very much protection to the stone. Tanzanite rings of this style often knocked about quite frequently, even when care is exercised. This is simply due to the style.

Hardness, as the concept relates specifically to gems and minerals, is primarily referring to scratch resistance with secondary considerations given to cutting resistance. Referring to the above chart, one can see that tanzanite, having a hardness 6.5 to 7.0, is only slightly less scratch resistant than quartz, which is what amethyst and citrine are. Considered quite durable, amethyst, with a trigonal crystalline structure, is only slightly more scratch resistant than tanzanite, with a orthohombic crystalline structure. Please see our section on pleochroism and definitions for an explanation of terms.

You may be asking why the hardness of tanzanite is expressed as a range of numbers. The answer is that tanzanite crystals have 3 axes (pl. axis) of differing lengths. The shortest axis will be the hardest and the long axis will possess the lower hardness number.

Actually, 6.5 to 7.0 hardness is quite durable , though care should be exercised to make sure that tanzanite is not knocked or bumped sharply. Ultrasonic cleaning of tanzanite is discouraged. Over time, almost all gemstones, with the exception of diamond possibly, will develop some type of wear on them. Tanzanite is simply "middle-of-the-pack" in terms of hardness. Simply use a little care and common sense when wearing your tanzanites and they should provide you with many years of sparkling beauty.

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