Tanzanite on graphite with minor diopside
description: <p style="text-align: justify;">LOCALITY: Merilani III Mine, near Arusha, Tanzania <br /><br />This crystal is relatively small. What sets it apart is the tanzanite crystal is on matrix. Matrix tanzanite specimens are probably over 1000 times rarer than loose tanzanite crystals. Of course, the Webb collection tanzanite specimen has not been heat treated. Most tanzanite that is used in the jewelry industry is heat treated. <br /><br />The largest tanzanite crystals ever mined weigh several kilograms. Large tanzanite crystals have only been mined in the later history of tanzanite mining. Even in the mid 1990's, tanzanite crystals barely over an inch long and with little or no facet rough content sold for thousands of dollars. Crystals that measured up to around 3" long started to appear at the international mineral shows in around 1996. Mine flooding at Merelani in early 1998 increased the scarcity of tanzanite and the wholesale value of cutting rough tripled practically overnight. More recently, the tanzanite supply chain has again became active and hence this fine crystal. <br /><br />Photo by Matthew Webb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia</p>
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