Tanzanite is mesmerizing gem shrouded in mystery. It is very scarce – rarer than diamond – and comes in shades of blue so beautiful they defy description.  

The stone was discovered in 1967 by Portuguese tailor Manuel D'Souza while prospecting for sapphires in Tanzania. Roaming at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, his chance discovery became the most exciting gemstone news of the 21st century.

Story of a Name

Story of a Name

Initially, the gem was named “skaiblu”, Swahili for sky blue. In its early days, it was also known simply as “zoisite” - the mineral from which it descends. Just one year after its discovery, the stone was presented to New York jeweler Tiffany & Co, who fell in love it at once. Yet as “zoisite” rhymes with “suicide” they filed for the name “tanzanite” which it carries today: an eternal reminder of its birthplace. 

The Power of Color

When it comes to dazzling colors, few gems can compete with tanzanite’s breathtaking shades of indigo, blue and violet.  As a so-called pleochroic (meaning “more colors”) stone, it can also carry streaks of red and yellow, green or brown. Depending on the light, and the angle from which it is viewed, the intensity of its inner shades changes constantly. In our collection, we use a “bi-color” tanzanite that comes from a specific layer of rock in the Tanzanian mines. It is a stunning yet natural blue, streaked with a touch of green. 



With a hardness of 6.5-7 on the Mohs scale, tanzanite is comparable to quartz, and is particularly suitable for earrings, necklaces or pendants. 

Just like diamonds, tanzanite quality is defined by 4 Cs:  colour, clarity, cut and carat (i.e. weight). The world’s largest tanzanite is the Mawenzi: a crystal of 16,839 carats, weighing in at 3 kilograms!


To this day, the only deposits of tanzanite known to the world are found in a 5 kilometer strip of land at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, Northern Tanzania.


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