December has three birthstones Tanzanite, Zircon and Turquoise. *I also saw lapis listed. I’ve made fused glass Tanzanite, fused glass Turquoise, and something special for the Fused Glass Zircon. Tanzanite also commemorates a 24th wedding anniversary.
Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, and found exclusively in this tiny area of the world. Tanzanite was found in the Merelani Hills near Arusha in the north of Tanzania. Millions of years ago, metamorphic schists, gneisses and quartzites formed impressive, flat-topped inselbergs on a vast plain in the shadow of Kilimanjaro. The precious crystals grew in deposits on the inside of these unusual elevations. For a long, long time they were hidden from the eye of Man, until one day some passing Masai shepherds noticed some sparkling crystals lying in the sun and took them along with them. The typical color of tanzanite is blue with a violet tinge. Tanzanite is a blue variety of the gemstone zoisite. In nature, tanzanite only sometimes occurs as a blue stone, but more often is golden to brown in color. After some time, it was discovered that by heating the brown or golden variety of the stone to 600 degrees Celsius and gradually cooling it, the color could be permanently changed to the violet-blue color. Without heating, tanzanite would be unmarketable.
It consists of calcium aluminum silicate and is not particularly hard, having a value of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale.
How to Care for Tanzanite
Tanzanite is a relatively soft and brittle stone and should always be worn carefully. Avoid exposure to sudden temperature changes or heat. Tanzanite is also sensitive to pressure and has a low resistance to ultrasound so it should never be cleaned with the ultrasonic cleaners. Tanzanite should be worn with care and never brought into contact with acids.
For the fused glass birthstone version of December “Tanzanite” I used various shades of blues and purple frit.
As I mentioned in the gemstone newsletter there are many advantages of fused glass over typical gemstones is Fused Glass is less expensive, more durable (than some birthstones), and can be bigger than typical gemstones
If you would like a Fused Glass Tanzanite please email me at email@example.com. I can make them into pendants, key chains, purse hangers, wine stoppers and pretty much anything else you would like.
Keeping my Kiln warm,