All that glitters is not gold… Sometimes it’s tanzanite and diamonds! If you’re looking for unique things to do in Cape Town then the Diamond Works Tanzanite Experience is most definitely for you. Tanzanite is 1000 times rarer than a diamond and is the only coloured gemstone with its own grading system. This blue precious stone has earned a reputation for being uniquely African and is only found in one place in the world: on the foothills of the magnificent Mount Kilimanjaro, on the most Eastern reaches of Africa in Tanzania! It is a “Trichroic” gemstone; meaning that the gem manifests three colours when viewed from various angles. It radiates a blue, violet and or a burgundy (berry) colour, with either blue; or violet, on a dominant shade.
The Tanzanite Experience
I recently joined the Diamond Works Institute for their Tanzanite Experience and it’s now without a doubt high on my list of fun activities for adults in Cape Town. My sparkling experience aptly started with a glass of bubbly and was led by the very knowledgeable Aimee Lentz – Diamond Works Brand and Operations Manager. The Diamond Works Institute offers the only demonstration of its kind open to the public within the Southern Hemisphere so rest assured, you’ll be experiencing one of the most unusual things to do in Cape Town thus making it well worth your time!
As explained by Aimee on the tour, due to its crystalline structure; Tanzanite is not an easy gem to cut and polish. Of all the shapes, triangular “trillion’’ is the most expensive with round being a close second. This is purely due to the “loss’’ or wastage to obtain these shapes. The hardworking ladies out there will be happy to know that Tanzanite is indicated as 6.5 to 7 similar to the quarts family making it a strong gem to wear- as indicated by the Mohs hardness scale used to specify the hardness of minerals. However, as with all gems, care should be taken to prevent any hard knocks and scratches and should be stored carefully. It is a very precious gem after all!
Fun Facts about Tanzanite
Tanzanite was added to the official birthstone list by the American Gem Trade Association as an additional birthstone for December. The ancients believe that the gemstone offers wearers a special pathway to the spiritual realm, activates Chakras from the heart and is a stone that brings visions to the wearer. Many believe that the tanzanite forces the wearer to tell the truth, redeeming one’s honour and integrity. The majestic beauty of Tanzanite not only boasts of lush appeal, but is also believed to help in combating health-related issues and bringing success in life. More reasons to spoil yourself (or gift someone special) with this rare gemstone!
Book a Diamond Works Sparkling Tour or Jewellery Making Workshop
When December approaches every year, you’re more than likely searching for end of year function ideas and during the festive season you’ll be wanting to dodge the crowds by looking for non-touristy things to do in Cape Town. Cue the Sparkling Tour and Jewellery Making Workshop!
Discover the art of diamond cutting and the history of diamonds and gold mining in South Africa. The experience shares the goldsmith manufacturing process of the in-house, third generation goldsmiths crafting African precious metal. An added service invites you to design your very own bespoke piece of jewellery; print a CAD generated wax replica before goldsmiths manufacture your original piece all within a 24hour window. A high quality African experience, sharing the specialised world of diamonds.
The Jewellery Making Workshop is a 2-hour session and includes bottomless bubbly served during the session (available to 18yrs+ attendees only), chocolate truffles and a guided jewellery making class to make your very own special piece. Secrets of what makes the featured gem special are shared by the Diamond Works Gemmologist.
Use of all tools and the precious materials supplied are included in the package. Each workshop features a different gem and different piece of jewellery making it a great experience for bachelorette parties, birthdays, friends and family as you get to leave with your very own jewellery piece.
The Diamond Works Institute is open 7 days a week. | www.thediamondworks.co.za | 021 425 1970
**I was hosted by the Diamond Works Institute for their Tanzanite Experience.