Tanzanite is the blue and violet variety of the mineral zoisite (a calcium aluminium hydroxyl sorosilicate) belonging to the epidote group. The gemstone was discovered by Manuel de Souza in the Mererani Hills of Manyara Region in Northern Tanzania in 1967, near the city of Arusha and Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is only found in Tanzania, in a very small mining area (approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) long and 2 km (1.2 mi) wide) near the Mirerani Hills.
Tanzanite is noted for its remarkably strong trichroism, appearing alternately blue, violet and burgundy depending on crystal orientation. Tanzanite can also appear differently when viewed under alternate lighting conditions. The blues appear more evident when subjected to fluorescent light and the violet hues can be seen readily when viewed under incandescent illumination. In its rough state tanzanite is colored a reddish brown to clear, and it requires heat treatment to remove the brownish "veil" and bring out the blue violet of the stone.
Like all gemstones, their are color variations in Tanzanite. With Tanzanite, most colors are a shade of blue to purple. Some colors are more desired than others, especially the deep purple. But you can even find Tanzanite with shades of red
One of many shops selling tanzanite; this one has set up a little museum about the rare gem, which is mined almost exclusively in the Kilimanjaro area.
Tanzanite: "1,000 times rarer than diamonds" and unique to Tanzania. There are many shops selling these brilliant blue gemstones in Arusha, but the Tanzanite Experience also offers you the chance to learn bit a more about its history and how it was formed.
Buying tanzanite here ensures that you get the best quality and that it has been properly graded and certified. Prices are reasonable too, and there is a dazzling array of stones and jewelry to choose from, ethically sourced directly from their own mine, the world's largest supplier of tanzanite. It’s an excellent way to spend an hour in Arusha, and spend some cash