Violet blue to bluish violet to violet purple
HARDNESS & TOUGHNESS
Hardness: 6 – 7 Toughness: Fair to Poor
Tanzania (Merelani Hills)
Tanzanite is the violet blue to blue violet variety of the mineral zoisite. It is mined commercially only in one area of the world: the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, which is where it gets its name. Tanzanite’s appearance is influenced greatly by its pleochroism, which is the ability of a gemstone to show different colors when viewed in different crystal directions.Today, most gems are heat treated, which removes or reduces the yellow green or brownish pleochroic color, maximizing the blue and violet.
Tiffany & Company recognized its potential as an international seller and made a deal to become its main distributor. Tiffany named the gem after the country it came from, and promoted it with a big publicity campaign in 1968. Almost overnight, tanzanite was popular with leading jewelry designers and other gem professionals. The instant popularity of this transparent blue-to-violet gem was tied to its vivid color, high clarity, and potential for large cut stones.