A dazzling blue that looks like the vast, periwinkle skies reflected in the snowmelt of Mount Kilimanjaro, this gem gets its name from the only country on earth where you can find this stone.
Tanzanite was first commercially discovered in Tanzania in the late 1960s. Exclusively mined in an area that measures two kilometers long and four kilometers wide at the base of Africa’s largest mountain, Tanzanite was formed under exceptionally unique circumstances some 585-million years ago.
However, local lore has it that Masai shepherds first discovered the stone when a lightning strike set the savannah grasslands on fire in the middle of a drought, pushing them and their herds out of the area. Upon their return, the ground was covered in these spectacular blue stones as a blessing out of the hardship.
Today, geologists believe the conditions for the formation of Tanzanite were so unique that this small stretch of land is the only place on earth where this gem can be mined. Other stones of the zoisite family can be found as far away as Switzerland, but the blindingly blue color of Tanzanite is truly one of a kind. The supply is also so rare that it’s even been nicknamed the ‘gemstone of a generation,’ as the natural reserves are only expected to last another 25-years.
The rare, finite supply of Tanzanite is part of its inherent beauty. But, its unique blue saturation is what will surely steal your attention first. Found in a range of blue hues that start off as a pale violet and deepen to the darkest blue, it’s the hint of purple that makes this stone unique and strikingly different from the famous blue sapphire.
But, just because this stone hasn’t been around forever doesn’t mean that people haven’t imparted their own mystical meaning around it. The lighter, violet Tanzanite stones are believed to represent mystery and magic, whereas the darker, more saturated stones symbolize royalty and the power to guide you to turn your biggest dreams into realities.
It is also believed that Tanzanite can stimulate three chakras — the throat, the third eye and the crown, allowing you to activate your psychic abilities and communicate with higher dimensions. Often seen as an overall transformational stone, Tanzanite can even help you move into a happier, more rewarding phase of life by helping you stop old patterns and bad behaviors.
This symbolism of transformations and new beginnings is also closely held by the Massai who reside at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. To celebrate the birth of a child, mothers are given Tanzanite as a gift to represent this new time in her life and bless her newborn with luck and prosperity. A beautiful sentiment all around, isn’t it?