Foxfire Jewelers The Creative
Custom Jewelry Studio since 1985
14176 NE Woodinville-Duvall
Woodinville, Washington 98072-8551
A rich blue-violet gemstone, Tanzanite
was discovered in Tanzania in 1967 by a prospector looking for
sapphire. The prospector, Manuel d'Souza, originally from India,
had been looking for stones in the wilds of Tanzania when some
natives took him to an area about 60 miles southwest of Arusha.
He soon discovered the blue stones he had found were not Sapphire, but
staked a claim and began mining anyway.
Henry Platt of Tiffany and Co. named the new gem "Tanzanite"
and Tiffany's began a marketing campaign to introduce it to the
It remains a popular stone for all
types of jewelry, and is still only found in quantity in Tanzania.
In nature, Tanzanite only sometimes occurs as a blue stone, but more
often is golden to brown. It is a variety of the
mineral Zoisite. It was discovered that by heating the brown or
golden variety of the stone and gradually cooling it, the color
could be permanently changed to the violet-blue color.
Tanzanite is pleochroic, which means
that the blue and violet tones vary depending on the angle the
stone is viewed from. A variety of Zoisite is sometimes called
chrome Tanzanite, owing to its green color caused by chromium.
Tanzanite is too recently discovered
to have any magical properties attributed to it.
Toughness: Fair to poor, avoid rough
Birthstone: Tanzanite now officially is an alternate birthstone for