Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Tanzanite Earrings- AGTA Spectrum Awards 2017

My “Waterdrop” Tanzanite and Sapphire earrings were awarded Third place in Classical Jewelry in the AGTA Spectrum Awards 2017. The American Gem Trade Association is the leading professional organization that promotes Colored Gemstones. 
AGTA Spectrum Awards 2107, Third Place Classic Daywear- MIMI FAVRE. Tanzanite,sapphire, platinum.
Images property of AGTA. Brian Moghadam Photography

Last year on the last day of a week of intense gem shopping in Tucson, I found a pair of long cabochon Tanzanites. I had already used up my checks and having added a few credit card ‘must have’ purchases I was over budget. I could not believe that this Italian dealer had not had a very successful show; his stones were unusual and beautifully cut. It’s in a moment like this that I start to doubt my instincts. I will ask myself if I'm nuts to think the stones are special and wonder why they’ve been overlooked five days into the show—should I believe that I indeed found something special? So, I bought them. Not just the two big ones, four other pairs too.
Tanzanite. zoisite cabochons. Mimi Favre.

Any jewelry designer who has shopped the GJX and AGTA in Tucson can probably relate to this. There is SO much to take in. Looking at small gemstones and beads all day, for days, and deciding what to purchase is mentally exhausting. 

 Tanzanite is a pleochroic gem. Pleochroism is a physical property in which the material appears to be different colors when viewed from different crystallographic directions. The size and color is rare. It is believed that this mine will stop producing in a generation.
Design ©Mimi Favre

Most tanzanites are heated to a strong deep blue. The stones in my earrings are unheated. I was attracted to the periwinkle shade of blue with the trace of green. 

My earring design includes two sapphires the same periwinkle shade and accents of unheated pastel shade sapphires. Originally I thought to use oval green garnet. Hand made platinum settings. The drops are detachable. 
“Tanzanite is a trade name that was first used by Tiffany and Company for gem-quality specimens of the mineral zoisite with a blue color. Tiffany could have sold the material under the mineralogical name of "blue zoisite," but they thought the name "tanzanite" would stimulate customer interest

The mineral zoisite naturally occurs in a wide range of colors that include colorless, gray, yellow, brown, pink, green, blue, and violet. The name "tanzanite" is used for a color variety of zoisite that ranges from blue to bluish purple to bluish violet.”

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