Tanzanite is a very special and unique gemstone. World-wide it occurs only in one specific location. Its blue colour which shimmers in a slightly purplish hue is magnificent indeed. Because of its unusually attractive flair it was easy for New York Jeweller Tiffanys to make it one of the most sought-after and popular gemstones in the world.
Its name reminds of the world-wide unique occurrence in the east-African state of Tanzania. Africa, the name of this continent does not immediately remind us of gemstones. Nevertheless, Africa is a continent from where many splendid and beautiful stones find their way to the world markets. An example for this is Tanzanite, which was enthusiastically celebrated after its discovery in 1967 as "Gemstone of the 20th Century¿ The gemstone experts literally held their breaths when they were shown the first deep blue crystals mined in the Merelani Hills near Arusha in the north of Tanzania. Millions of years ago, metamorphous slates, gneiss stone and quarzites shaped impressive flat insular mountains on the wide planes near Mount Kilimanjaro. In the core of these unusual rises there are stored the valuable crystals. For a long time they remained hidden for the eyes of men, until one day some Massai-herdsmen passing by noticed crystals sparkling in the sun and picked them up.
Today at Merelani the popular crystals are searched for in several, usually smaller mines, to some extent by means of modern methods. Generally only smaller grains are being found, but now and then the miners strike a lucky vein and produce a larger crystal ¿ much to the pleasure of the mine-owners