The Tanzanian Take on Jewelry
Up until now, it has been countries in the western part of the world who have determined how its citizens should wear its jewelry. Now another voice is being heard. From the wild plains of Africa a new rhythm is echoing throughout the land. The wild tribal jewelry worn by these plainspeople is becoming increasingly popular across the globe.
Apart from its flamboyant style, there is something else that is helping to put the jewelry of South Africa on the map-tanzanite. Tanzanite is a precious gem that can only be recovered from the mines of Tanzania, and its unique nature has made it a growing fad throughout the jewelry industry. Diamonds, with their cold cores and icy perfection, have been the jewel of choice throughout history. They have also been the most coveted, hence the phrase, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” Many of the most famous jewel thefts throughout history have involved diamonds. Remember the theft of the jewels from the world’s largest diamond cutter in Antwerp, Belgium, in 2003 that was reputed to be the biggest jewel heist in history?
No longer is this the case. With the advent of a new society that prefers its people free spirited as opposed to cloistered and meek has come a preference for a new type of jewel, one that has the heat of its people down within its core. This need has been realized through the use of Tanzanite. With its brilliant, deep blue flecked with purple color Tanzanite seems to spring to life as the wearer stares down into it, drawing the soul as well as the eye.
Tanzanite has become a particular favorite for use by those who work in silver. In its purest form Tanzanite actually possesses a yellowish-brown hue rather than the brilliant blue it is revered for. While this color can be baked out by the use of an extremely hot oven, occasionally hints of the hue still remain. These hints are only accented by setting the gem in gold. Silver, on the other hand, draws forth from the stone its brilliant blue due to the contrast. Many silversmiths favor it for use in silver pendants, bracelets, earrings and rings, where its mysterious beauty will only serve to accentuate the beauty of its wearer.
For those who believe in such things Tanzanite is also believed to be the bearer of certain strong, metaphysical properties. It is used as a calming stone for those whose life is in chaos, a characteristic that is believed to be strengthened when it is set in silver, as silver is believed to be able to draw forth the energies of a stone. It is also worn as a protective charm, keeping its bearer safe; a characteristic that was particularly important to the warring tribes of Africa, and its various powers are believed to be equally important to those who live in today’s fast-paced world.