Tanzanite is the new December birthstone and the 24th Anniversary gemstone.
In the early 1960's Massi tribesmen, while working the field in the Merelani foothills near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, discovered magnificent violet/blue crystals emerging out of the ground around them. The tribesman promptly brought them to a Portuguese gemologist working in the area, who in turn brought the propitious crystals to the attention of Tiffany & Company. Tiffany & Company expeditiously introduced them into the market places of the world.
Tanzanite has greatly retained its value over the years. Quality Tanzanite is moderately priced and the darker color is more desirable. This calcium aluminum silicate mineral occurs in other rare colors such as green, red, bi-color blue, and violet. When lightly heated the ugly brown Zoisite mineral will turn into the beautiful violet/blue color you see today as the Tanzanite gemstone. Tanzanite is rated 6 to 7 on the Mohs hardness scale. Unfortunately, this beautiful gemstone is also classified as fair/poor in toughness and durability. Therefore, care is needed while wearing Tanzanite. With proper respect for its fragileness, this magnificent gemstone will bring years of mesmerizing enjoyment.