Tanzanite is one of the world’s most recently discovered gemstones. This beautiful blue-violet gemstone was found in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in the Arusha region of Tanzania in 1967, which remains the only source, and was named after its country of origin by world-renowned jewellers Tiffany & Co, who first brought it to the market.
Tanzanite is a relatively soft gemstone, which limits its uses and means it is easily scratched or cleaved. However, its unique blue to violet hues make it a much sought-after gemstone and one of the most popular blue gemstones.
Sources: The world's only source of Tanzanite is Arusha, Tanzania.
Similar gemstones: Tanzanite may be mistaken for blue Sapphire. However, its purple violet colouring usually makes the two distinguishable and also distinguishes it from Amethyst.
Colour palette: Tanzanite occurs in a host of shapes, sizes and striking ultramarine to sapphire blue colour tones. However, Tanzanite is rarely pure blue and almost always displays violet hues. Smaller Tanzanite gems are most likely to be lighter in tone, with lavender the most common colouring, while larger gems typically display deeper, richer violet-blue tones.
One of Tanzanite’s main attractions is its pleochroism - appearing more blue or violet depending on the angle at which it is viewed. Artificial light will bring out the violet hues. Tanzanite may also reveal a bronze colour, which is the colour that dominates when Tanzanite is in the ground. With gentle heat treatment of the gemstone the bronze colour gives way to the blue.
More information about Tanzanite: Tanzanite’s popularity lead to it being the first gemstone added to the Birthstone list since 1912 by the American Gem Trade Association. Today, Tanzanite is the Birthstone of December, and associated with the qualities of prosperity, happiness and health. It is also an 8th Wedding Anniversary gemstone - the main gemstone being Tourmaline.