Tanzanite 101

Balanced between lush blue, rich purple, and vibrant violet, the tanzanite is found only one place in the world, near the majestic Mount Kilimanjaro. First unearthed in Tanzania in 1967. Tanzanite is a relatively new gem on the market. In the first discovery of tanzanite, it was mistaken for sapphire. A Masai tribesman discovered this unique variety of the mineral zoisite, Mount Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania, east Africa. Tiffany & Co. was the first to introduce it to the marketplace. Tiffany & Co named this blue-violet variety of zoisite in honor of Tanzania, where it was first unearthed. Because the crystals show different colors depending on the viewing direction, cutters can fashion gems with a range of color from violet blue to bluish violet.

Birthstone

December

Alternate

Zodiac

Capricorn

December 22–January 19

Anniversary

9th Wedding Anniversary

Alternate

To this day, Tanzanite’s popularity continues to grow, but can only be found in a Merelani Hills mine in Tanzania.  It is universally heat-treated to produce purplish-blue hues. In its unheated form, Tanzanite appears dull gray and brown. Because heat treatment of Tanzanite is universal, it has no effect on stone’s price, unlike most other gemstones. Heat treatment is a permanent enhancement which will remain unaffected by cutting and polishing. Tanzanite is the other birthstone for December and used as an alternate to celebrate the 9th wedding anniversary.

Because tanzanite is fairly new on the gemstone scene, there is not much history legend or lore about it. It is believed to help one achieve a higher consciousness and amplify intuition and perception. Some also believe that wearing the gemstone will aid in detoxification of the body and calm one in stressful situations.