Color: sapphire blue, amethyst violet
Moh's hardness: 6.5 - 7
Tanzanite is a unique gemstone that only occurs in one specific location world-wide: Tanzania in East Africa. Its famous, deep blue color ranges from ultramarine to a light purplish blue. The most desired color is a blue which shows a purplish hue shimmering around it.
Tanzanite was named the "Gemstone of the 20th Century" after its discovery in 1967. The very first deep blue crystals were mined in the north of Tanzania, where they originated on the plains near Mount Kilimanjaro millions of years ago. Some local Maasai herdsmen were the first to notice the blue gems sparkling in the sun.
When New York Jeweler Tiffany & Co. was presented with the first tanzanites right after they had been discovered, they recommended finding a new name for the blue beauty. The gemological name "blue Zoisite" was considered too reminiscent of the word "suicide". So Tiffany's suggested the name Tanzanite instead, derived from the place of its discovery. Tiffany's introduced tanzanite to the public in 1969 in a spectacular promotional campaign that raised world-wide awareness of the gem.
Tanzanite achieves a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Moh's scale but is not very damage resistant and should be worn with care. Tanzanites should never be cleaned by an ultrasonic method and never come into contact with acids.