Tanzanite, a name coined by Tiffany &Co. is one of the most beautiful stones found in recent history. Its first discovery goes back only to 1967 when a Masai tribesman discovered the crystal in Northern Tanzania, Eastern Africa. To this day Tanzania is the only known source of tanzanite and the area in which they are mined covers only 4 square kilometers.
The Masai tribesmen gift a tanzanite to their wives after the birth of their first child and see it as a symbol of harmony.
Tanzanite displays distinct pleochroism, which means it shows different colours from different directions. The most desirable colour is a blue similar to a sapphire, however tanzanite also has a beautiful pleochroic violet-purple body colour.
Only around 5% of the tanzanite crystals discovered are actually blue. Naturally the majority of tanzanite is brown. When heated the stone changes to a bright and stable glorious blue-violet. Heating does not affect the quality of the tanzanite crystal itself.
The largest Tanzanite in the world is known as the ‘Queen of Kilimanjaro’ and is part of the private collection of Michael Scott, the first CEO of Apple.
Where is Tanzanite mined?
6.5 on the Mohs scale.
Varities of blue, violet and purple, can also be brown.
Birthstone and Anniversary Stone
Tanzanite was the last stone to be added to the Birthstone list in 1912. Tanzanite is the birthstone of December.