A few decades ago, a beautiful blue gemstone was discovered in the African country of Tanzania. The stone, named after the country where it was found, is called tanzanite. It can be a clear blue, violet-blue, or bluish purple. The richer the color of the tanzanite, the more valuable it is. Pure blue or rich violet blue stones are the most valuable tanzanites. Tanzanite is also pleochroic.
Tanzanite is found in the colors of blue to violet or purple.
In 1967, a Tanzanian tribesman came across a cluster of very clear and very blue crystals. The gem would soon be called tanzanite.
No, this is not a spaceman. It’s tanzanite and it is pleochroic. See how this gem is blue, but the reflection shows purple! - Photo courtesy Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution
what's in a name?
Tanzanite was named after the only country where it’s found – Tanzania.