Tanzanite has become very popular despite its recent discovery - so much so that it joined the league of turquoise and zircon as the December birthstone in 2002. This was no mean feat since the list had not been changed since 1912. Tanzanite was thus the first gem to be added to the birthstone list in 100 years.
Tanzanite is said to have been stumbled upon in 1967 by a Maasai tribesman who shared the crystal he had discovered with a prospector by the name of Manuel de Souza. No one knew what the stone really was and hence first speculated to be an unusually vivid and richly colored sapphire. However, it was soon discovered that the stone was more intricate and its colors more vibrant than the latter.
The stone was christened Tanzanite after its country of origin, Tanzania, in 1968 by Harry Platt, president of Tiffany and Co. who described it as “the most beautiful stone to be discovered in 2000 years.”
Tanzanite was categorized after the sapphire as the second favorite colored gemstone in the USA in 2001. While people initially bought it as a substitute for the sapphire since it was cheaper, its demand has skyrocketed in recent years as people began to value it more for its own sparkle, beauty, extreme rarity and the magic of its origins.
Tanzanite is seen as the ultimate birthstone that represents new life. This comes from the affinity of the Maasai community with the color blue which they regard as healing, sacred and representing new life. It is therefore the perfect gift for new beginnings or celebration of a new life. If you were fortunate enough to be born in December you are one of the lucky few with this magnificent gemstone as your birthstone.
Take a look at our collection of Investment Grade Tanzanite