In October 2002, Tanzanite was added to the official birthstone list by the American Gem Trade Association as an additional birthstone for December.
One of the newest and most exotically colored gemstones, Tanzanite was first discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, East Africa. Legend says that it was Masai cattle herders that first noticed this stone some 30 years ago after a fire caused by lightening burned areas in Tanzania. The herders noticed that brown zoisite crystals had turned a deep blue-purple due to the heat from the fire. Tanzanite is very rarely a pure blue and usually exhibits rich purple overtones. While often a blue color when first mined, it can also be brown and is routinely heat treated to permanently draw out its exotic bluish-purple color.
Tanzanite is brittle. Although it can be worn daily, it should be protected from knocks, pressure and extreme temperature changes. Do not use a home ultrasonic to clean jewelry with tanzanite.
Because this is such a new gemstone, there is little known lore surrounding it.
Composition: Zoisite mineral.