Foxfire Jewelers The Creative Custom Jewelry Studio since 1985

2250 North Coast Highway Newport Oregon 97365

(541) 265-RING    (541) 265-7464


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 public
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.

Hardness: 6-7

Toughness: Fair to poor, avoid rough handling

Birthstone: Tanzanite now officially is an alternate birthstone for December