There are several different theories about who discovered Tanzanite. The most likely story is that it was discovered by an Indian tailor called Manuel de Souza. Affectionately known as ‘Mad Manuel’, he mended clothes to pay his way across Africa, usually on foot and unarmed, prospecting for gold and Diamonds. In the summer of 1967, Manuel was living in Arusha in northern Tanzania, and selected an area to explore one weekend. The roads were so bad that his driver refused to continue any further than the village of Mtakuja – Manuel and his equipment were dropped off, so Manuel decided to explore that area instead.
At around noon on July the 7th 1967, Manuel de Souza, in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, was suddenly captivated by a transparent blue stone sitting on the ground glinting in the Tanzanian sun.
In this gemstone’s relatively short lifespan it has made a big impact on the jewellery world. Tanzanite's rarity saw the stone hailed as a ‘one-generational’ treasure, a stone shaped by a story as captivating as its own beauty. Its rich history has resulted in it becoming more than just a gemstone – Tanzanite became an icon.