Passion for Color
? Tanzanite is named after Tanzania, where it was discovered in 1967. The finest specimens are a wonderfully extravagant blue with a tinge of purple, and gemological enthusiasts the world over became spellbound. Still found in only one place in the world, tanzanite remains rare and tremendously desirable ? a worthy centerpiece for any important jewelry design. More recently, tanzanite was designated as one of the December birthstones.
? Paraiba tourmaline. Tourmalines come in almost every shade of the rainbow, but until relatively recently, there was no turquoise form of the gem. In the 1980s, however, in the Brazilian state of Paraiba, a new blue variety of tourmaline was discovered. Not only did the Paraiba mines offer shades never before seen ? one of the most striking Paraiba tourmaline hues is called ?swimming-pool blue? ? this new tourmaline was also distinguished by its glowing intensity, which aficionados call an ?electric? or ?neon? effect.
? Tsavorite. Discovered in the 1960s in Africa, near Tsavo National Park (from which it derives its name), tsavorite is desirable not only for its vivid green color, but also for its brilliance and durability. It is almost as hard (7.5 on the Mohs scale) as emerald, but much less sensitive. Thus, tsavorites are suitable for use in jewelry designs with invisible settings in which gemstones are set tightly against one another, and they are also less likely to be damaged in the course of daily wear.