How to Repair a Small Scratch on Faceted Tanzanite
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Tanzanite, a rare gem also known as zoisite, was first discovered in 1967, and is found only in the Umba Valley at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. This modern gem is the birthstone for the month of December, and is prized for its unusual bluish purple shade.
Although tanzanite is very beautiful, it is also notoriously fragile. If you have scratched your tanzanite, you may be able to repair it. Be very careful though, because improper handling could shatter your stone.
- Tanzanite, a rare gem also known as zoisite, was first discovered in 1967, and is found only in the Umba Valley at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
- If you have scratched your tanzanite, you may be able to repair it.
Gently clean your tanzanite with a soft bristled toothbrush and mild soap. This way, you can determine whether your stone is actually scratched or just a bit dirty. Dry your tanzanite carefully with a clean chamois cloth.
Determine how bad the scratch is. Tanzanite is extremely brittle and you can't polish the scratch away yourself. You will need to take the stone to a professional gem cutter. Because tanzanite is difficult to work with, having it professionally polished will likely be expensive. You also run the risk of your stone being accidentally destroyed. If the scratch is very small, reconsider whether having it polished away is the best idea.
Take your tanzanite to a professional gem cutter if you are determined to have it polished. Local jewellers can refer you to gem cutters in the area. Find someone who has experience with rare and coloured gems. Show the gem cutter your tanzanite and ask him exactly how he plans to repair it. He may tell you that attempting to polish your stone is not worth the risk of losing it. This risk will depend on how big the scratch is, how big the stone is and the condition of the stone. If the gem cutter tells you not to have the stone polished, take his advice.
- Determine how bad the scratch is.
- Show the gem cutter your tanzanite and ask him exactly how he plans to repair it.
Take care of your newly polished tanzanite if the scratch is removed successfully. tanzanite should not be worn on a daily basis. Daily wear and tear will cause your stone to scratch and it may even break completely. Your tanzanite may bemore fragile after you have it polished. Do not store your tanzanite with other jewellery that may scratch it.
Elizabeth Hannigan began writing freelance articles in 2005. Her work can be found in "Orientations" magazine. She holds a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Delaware.