What is Tanzanite?

Tanzanite is an extraordinary gemstone. It occurs in only one place worldwide. Its blue, surrounded by a fine hint of purple, is a wonderful color.

It is named after the East African state of Tanzania, the only place in the world where it has been found. On its discovery in 1967, it was enthusiastically celebrated by the specialists as the “gemstone of the 20th century.”

The tanzanite trade is in the hands of many licensed merchants, mostly on a small scale, who have, over the decades, built up stable, trusting business relationships with gemstone companies in India, Germany, Israel and the USA. An estimated 90 percent of all tanzanite merchants are official members of the International Colored Gemstone Association ICA, and are thus bound by the high ethical standards of that organisation. In this way, this exclusive gemstone is not subject to trade via dubious channels, but instead, in spite of its rarity, passed on along reputable trade routes to established cutting-centres and subsequently to major jewellers all round the world.

Tanzanite collage

Tanzanite is a blue variety of the gemstone zoisite. It consists of calcium aluminium silicate and is not particularly hard, so it should always be worn carefully and never placed in an ultrasonic bath for cleaning or brought into contact with acids. The deep blue of the tanzanite is fantastic, and runs from ultramarine blue to light violet-blue. This exclusive gemstone is cut in every imaginable shape from the classical round shape to a number of imaginative designer cuts.

A tanzanite will continue to fascinate with its unusual, captivating aura. Its deep blue with the slightly purple tinge is one of the most extravagant colors known to man. But what makes this stone so popular? Is it simply that fantastic color? No, it is also the exclusivity of its origin. The stone is particularly highly prized because it is found in only one place in the whole world. The idea of possessing something that not everyone has has always been one of the main criteria in the way we esteem special gems.