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Tanzanite (Zoisite)

Atop Merelani Hill, nestled in the shadows of Mt. Kilimanjaro, a Masai tribesman stumbled upon a stone that no one in the world had ever seen. Two years later, in 1969, that gemologists declared the discovery as a blue gem variety of zoisite. Tiffany & Co. quickly pounced and began introducing it to the public as “Tanzanite”. Today, tanzanite remains a popular gemstone and because of its deep, rich color, and has become a beautiful alternative to blue sapphires.

Traces of vanadium in the stone are responsible for its dark blue hue. The rarest and most valued specimens are the pure blue or intensely violet-blue versions. Almost all are heat-treated and finding tanzanite that are naturally blue from metamorphic heat are extremely rare. Tanzanite is mined from only one region- the same Merelani where it was first discovered some 50 years ago.

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