Tanzanite Stone

Tanzanite stone was named after Tanzania. 

Tanzanite, discovered in 1967, was named after Tanzania, the country in which it was discovered.

It is noted for its alternating colours of sapphire-blue to violet, even burgundy depending on lighting conditions and the angle at which it is viewed.

With exception of the first stones found close to the earth’s surface, these colours are not natural.

tanzanite stone
Tanzanite stone. By Catherinette Rings Steampunk via Flickr.com

Natural Tanzanite is more usually reddish-brown, so it is universally heat treated in a gemmological oven or furnace with temperatures between 500 and 700 degrees Celsius to produce its range of stunning colours.

Tanzanite yields mostly in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tanzanite belongs to the Zoisite family of minerals and is derived from 500 million-year-old metamorphic rocks.

Green Zoisite exists, but is never called Tanzanite.

Natural crystals occur in different habits including columnar, striated and prismatic.

It is a stone which should sensibly be only worn as a pendant or as earrings because it is softer than other gemstones and has a habit of breaking in its natural cleavage line if knocked or treated roughly.

Tiffany & Co first marketed the gem.

This page was written by Magda Palmer, a gemmologist and the author of The Healing Power of Crystals, Precious Stones and Feng Shui Student Manual, which I highly recommend.

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