Tanzanite can only be found in Tanzania, in a very small mining area near the Mererani Hills.
The gemstone was originally given the name tanzanite by Tiffany & Co, after the name of the country it was discovered in, back in the 1960s.
The scientific name of “blue zoisite” was thought inappropriate as it sounded like “blue suicide”!
Tanzanite is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism, appearing alternately blue, violet and burgundy depending on the crystal orientation and lighting.
In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association chose tanzanite as the December birthstone, the first change to its birthstone list since 1912.
Tanzanite was formed around 585 million years ago by massive tectonic activity and intense heat in the area that would later become Mount Kilimanjaro.
The highest quality stones are increasingly hard to acquire.
It is expected that this stone will not be mined after 2040.