I’ve reached the point in my quarantine where I find myself daydreaming of vacations past. Remember the good old days when we were allowed out of the house…and country? It was in one such daydream where I recalled a cruise to Alaska. The scenery was sublime, the wildlife and glaciers had me in awe. And there were gemstones, so many gemstones. I had no idea cruise ships carried more gemstones than passengers. The star of this gem-parade was tanzanite.
You couldn’t walk 12 feet without dodging a norovirus, tripping over a jazz band, and falling into a mountainous pile of loose tanzanite. I’d never seen so many of these stones in one place in my life…well sort of in one place I mean that place happened to be floating for hundreds of miles, but you get the idea. Anyway, it left me thinking: What’s the deal with cruise ships and tanzanite?
Is there something about the salty air and gentle rocking of the ship that makes people want to buy tanzanite? Perhaps the endless buffets make you hungry for much more than all you can eat shrimp…you hunger for something…shiny?
Then you find yourself sporting your relaxed vacation-brain, cocktail in hand, wandering the decks of the ship like the mayor of your own little city when all of the sudden out of the corner of your eye you see it. Is it blue? Is it purple? Who can tell? Whatever it is, it’s mesmerizing. You are taken in by the intoxicating color as you veer towards the onboard jewelry shop where suddenly you are confronted with TANZANITE!
Before you know it you have listened through an hour-long lecture about this mysterious blueish-purplish gem. You learn of its discovery in 1968, and that -gasp- it is found in only one mine on earth. Your Sherlok-ian deduction skills tingle as you ascertain this stone called tanzanite hails from, wait for it, Tanzania.
You are taught of its real name, blue zoisite, was nixed by Tiffany and Co. because it sounded just a little too much like blue suicide, which isn’t too good for business. The lecturer reminds you of the rarity of the gem, emphasizing that you should get yours while you still can, for how much more can one mine yield? More cocktails are served, and before you know if you have picked out a glittery piece of tanzanite to take home as a souvenir.
Oh, how I miss travel. Until we can once more safely explore the world Stephanie at Saint K can design a custom piece of jewelry using your tanzanite stone to serve as a reminder of that spectacular vacation. And if you have an old souvenir piece of tanzanite jewelry that is no longer sea-worthy, she can re-set it in a new design to shore it up into something you will enjoy wearing every day. Just like this beauty she created for a recent customer: