“Its colour captures the blue of the ocean with shades of the midnight sky and flashes of violet”. (Tiffany’s Chief Gemmologist, Melvyn Kirtley).
Tanzanite is a relatively recent addition to the kaleidoscope of coloured gemstones used in jewellery. In 1967, Ali Juuyawatu, a Masai tribesman, discovered a collection of intense violet-blue transparent crystals in Merelani, north Tanzania. Excited by the prospect of having discovered a deposit of Sapphires, he brought the stone to Manuel d’Souza, a local fortune hunter who swiftly registered four mining claims in the area. Although the sites proved to lack Sapphire deposits, the vivid blue-violets stones found there were mined to rapid commercial success.