Tanzanite is one of the most intriguing and popular blue gemstones available today. Bluish violet in hue, it belongs to the zoisite mineral group. This rare gem wasn't found until 1967; the year it was discovered in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
According to legends, these foothills were once set ablaze by a bolt of lightning. In the aftermath, a violetish blue crystal was found by Masai herders amidst the ashes of the scorched land. Soon this rare discovery was named tanzanite, after the country of its origin – Tanzania. This gem is only found in a deep and small area (approximately seven square kilometers in size) on the foothills of the mountain, which makes it a thousand times rarer than diamonds. The stone’s uncommonness, along with its visual charm, has attributed to its ever-increasing popularity.
Even though there are numerous folklores that surround the origin of the tanzanite, the reality behind its actual discovery continues to remain a mystery. However, geologists believe that it is unlikely that one may find tanzanites anywhere else on the earth. It is said that the events that led to its formation, around 585 million years ago, were so exceptional that the odds of it happening again are practically impossible.
Today, tanzanite is regarded as the second most sought-after blue gem, after sapphire.