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tanzanite

By Gemporia

The 1960s promised a revolution and in 1969, Tiffany & Co unveiled a gemstone to the world that changed the jewellery landscape forever.

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ORIGINS

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.

Mount KilimanjaroTanzania

MEANING

The gemstone industry recognised the significance of this new discovery and for the first time in almost 100 years opened the official birthstone book to induct this electric blue stone and awarded it to the month of December. Many see this stone as 'the' birthstone irrespective of the month due to it being labelled the gemstone of new beginnings.

The MaasaiTanzania

"Defined by its single location, prized for its unparalleled colour play and limited due to its absolute rarity"

CHARACTERISTICS

Part of this stone’s unique appeal is that it is pleochroic, which means it displays two striking colours as it interacts with the light. One is a midnight blue and the other is a piercing flash of pink deep within. As you inspect your blue to violet coloured gemstone it seems to blush with the attention. The gemstone’s unique characteristic means that we only let the world’s finest lapidarists cut and facet it. We always cut our Tanzanite for beauty and not to maximise its carat weight.

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