Tanzanite is one of the most beautiful gems in the world, and one of the most sought after new gems to ever hit the gemstone market. There is only one known locality for this rare gem, and that is in Merelani, in the Lelatema Mountains in northern Tanzania. This purple blue variety of Zoisite was first discovered by a tailor. Manuel de Souza who also happened to collect minerals. At first the mineral was thought to be sapphire, but was soon identified be the Heidelberg University in Germany as the first known occurrence of gem quality purple/blue Zoisite.
Tanzanite was first marketed in the United States in 1968 by Tiffany & Company, who felt that the gem should be named after its country of origin, Tanzania. As popularity continues to rise with this fantastic new gem, demand continues to exceed supply Tanzanite has a hardness of 6.5 and a refractive index of 1.69 to 1.70. Most of our Tanzanite rough is sold unheated, in its natural state. It is always best to cut the gems before hand, as to avoid unnecessary cracking. New Era Gems will always be happy to heat any gems for you that you have purchased from us after you have cut them. The only charge for this service is postage and insurance for the return of your gems.