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First found in 1967 near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, this beautiful yet affordable blue-violet gemstone is a modern and popular choice used in jewellery. Since then, roughly 2 million carats of tanzanite were mined in this area before Tanzanian Government nationalised the mines in 1971.

It is often chosen as an alternative to sapphire and is popular amongst engagement rings and eternity rings. Tanzanite has the wonderful ability to change colour depending on the orientation of the crystal; in some lights it can look sapphire blue and in other a bright violet or even burgundy red. Tanzanite is actually found in a reddish brown state but with the application of artificial heat, the blue-violet tones of the stone emerges.

Originally, the gemstone was named 'blue zoisite', however Tiffany & Co renamed it to 'tanzanite' as they felt its scientific name sounded too similar to 'blue suicide'. The name tanzanite emphasises its history, locality and rarity which Tiffany hoped to capitalise on.

Grading tanzanite

There is no universally accepted method of grading coloured gemstones, however the Tanzanite Foundation introduced its own colour grading system to help grade tanzanites. This scale divides the tanzanite colours into a range, from blue-violet to violet-blue.

The clarity of a gemstone is based on the naked eye i.e. if no visible inclusions can be seen with 20-20 vision, it is considered as flawless. All the tanzanites sold by F.Hinds are graded minimum AA.