Tanzanite is the blue/purple variety of the beautiful mineral that is commonly known as zoisite. It was first discovered and recorded in the Mererani Hills of Manyara Region in Northern Tanzania in 1967, near Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite minerals are commonly used as a gemstone for fine luxury jewelry rings and necklaces. Most Tanzanite is man-made and naturally-formed Tanzanite is extremely rare, but some deposits can still found in the Mererani Hills.
Tanzanite is noted for the beautiful color changing abilities of the gemstone, as it commonly appears in alternating shades of sapphire blue, violet, and burgundy depending on crystal composition and light source orientation. Tanzanite can also appear differently when viewed under alternate lighting conditions such as natural or artificial light or black light. Tanzanite is found in a reddish brown hue when it is in natural form and will require artificial heat treatment to bring out the blue and violet tones of the stone.
The mineral gemstone as it is known today was named by Tiffany & Co. after Tanzania, the country where it was first found. In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association chose Tanzanite as a December birthstone, the first change to their birthstone list since 1912. The beautiful gemstones are stunningly beautiful and make for fine rings and stunning stud earring.
As an interesting side note, the world’s largest cut Tanzanite recognized by Guinness World Records is 252.2 carats, and the largest rough tanzanite was a 16,839 carat (3.38 kg, or 7.46 lb) stone mined in 2005.