Dims: 0.4" x 0.3" x 0.2" (1.0 x 0.8 x 0.5 cm)
Wt: 1.3 g
Umba valley (near Tanga), Tanzania
This small thumbnail specimen is one of only a few Tanzanite crystals that we have seen available in the past year! This specimen is actually composed of two small crystals that have grown together and almost appear as one. Though their orthorombic form is not as pronounced as some that I have seen, it is still definite and visible, and there is very little human-induced damage evident. Their edges are somewhat rounded, but still visible, and their faces are uncommonly smooth, as most crystals of this material that I have seen show substantial striation. Their luster is bright and vitreous. The crystals both have the deep violet and blue colorations that are indicative of this pleochroic gemstone, and were likely heat-treated, as I see no evidence of the tan-to-brown coloration that is usually present in untreated stones. Both are transparent and quite clear, with the most noticeable flaws being several large internal fractures. One could conceivably cut a small stone or two out of this specimen, but it is probably not worth the labor. It is a really pretty little specimen, though, and took a lot of searching to find.