Allie Buckland

Written by Allie Buckland

Modified & Updated: 18 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett


Tanzanite, a mesmerizing gemstone with a captivating blue-violet hue, has garnered global attention for its rare beauty and intriguing origins. Believed to be formed over 585 million years ago, this gemstone was discovered in 1967 in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, hence its name. Its remarkable color-changing properties, from sapphire blue in natural light to amethyst purple under incandescent illumination, make it a coveted choice for jewelry enthusiasts and collectors alike.

As we delve into the world of tanzanite, we uncover its fascinating characteristics, historical significance, and modern-day allure. From its geological formation to its association with December birthdays as a birthstone, tanzanite continues to captivate gemstone enthusiasts and researchers. Join us as we explore ten intriguing facts about tanzanite, delving into its allure, rarity, and the mystique that surrounds this extraordinary gemstone.

Key Takeaways:

  • Tanzanite is a rare gem found only in Tanzania, with mesmerizing colors and a fascinating backstory. It’s a December birthstone and has metaphysical properties, making it truly exceptional and coveted.
  • Tanzanite’s rarity, trichroism, and association with Tiffany & Co. add to its allure. It requires special care due to its softness, and large specimens are exceedingly rare, making it highly sought-after and prized.
Table of Contents

Tanzanite is Only Found in One Place on Earth

Tanzanite is exclusively mined in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, making it one of the most geographically constrained gemstones in the world.

It Was Discovered Relatively Recently

In 1967, a Masai tribesman stumbled upon tanzanite, leading to its official recognition as a distinct gemstone. This relatively recent discovery adds to its allure and fascination.

Tanzanite Exhibits Pleochroism

This mesmerizing gemstone displays pleochroism, meaning it can exhibit different colors when viewed from different angles. Its hues range from deep blue to vibrant violet, adding to its mystique.

It’s a December Birthstone

Tanzanite holds the honor of being one of the birthstones for the month of December, offering a stunning alternative to traditional blue stones.

The Rarity of Tanzanite

With its single-source origin and limited supply, tanzanite is rarer than diamonds, making it a highly sought-after and prized gemstone.

The Fascinating Trichroism of Tanzanite

Tanzanite's trichroism, the ability to show three different colors, sets it apart from other gemstones, adding to its allure and desirability.

It Was Named by Tiffany & Co.

Renowned jewelry company Tiffany & Co. named the gemstone “tanzanite” to highlight its exclusive Tanzanian origin, contributing to its prestige and desirability.

Tanzanite is Believed to Have Metaphysical Properties

In the metaphysical world, tanzanite is thought to promote spiritual awareness, insight, and emotional balance, adding a layer of mysticism to its appeal.

It Requires Special Care

Tanzanite is relatively soft compared to other stones, requiring gentle handling and care to maintain its luster and beauty.

The Rarity of Large Tanzanite Specimens

Large tanzanite specimens are exceedingly rare, with most stones being smaller in size, adding to their exclusivity and value.

Tanzanite, with its mesmerizing hues and intriguing backstory, continues to captivate gemstone enthusiasts and collectors worldwide. Its rarity, unique properties, and stunning beauty make it a truly exceptional and coveted gemstone.


In conclusion, tanzanite is a mesmerizing gemstone that captivates with its stunning blue-violet hues and fascinating geological origins. Its rarity and unique color-changing properties make it a highly sought-after gem in the world of jewelry. As a result of its increasing popularity, tanzanite has gained recognition as a modern birthstone for December, adding to its allure. Whether admired for its beauty, metaphysical properties, or investment potential, tanzanite continues to enchant gem enthusiasts and collectors worldwide.


What makes tanzanite unique?Tanzanite's exceptional rarity and single-source origin in Tanzania make it a highly unique gemstone. Its mesmerizing trichroic nature, displaying different colors from varying angles, adds to its allure.

How can I care for tanzanite jewelry?To maintain the beauty of tanzanite jewelry, it's important to avoid exposure to sudden temperature changes and harsh chemicals. Regular cleaning with mild soapy water and gentle brushing is recommended to preserve its luster.

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