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Tanzanite is a trichroic blue (-violet) gemstone. Trichroism is a rare gemstone phenomenon, in tanzanite’s case it displays blue, violet and flashes of burgundy (or yellow or green) depending on crystal orientation. The biggest premiums are paid for stones that are a deep royal blue, similar to sapphires.
Tanzanite was first discovered (as a Zoisite) in the late ’60s, and it took off when Tiffany & Co (TIF:US) renamed it and began marketing it. To date, the US has been the biggest market, with tanzanite often chosen as a birthstone for new mothers. In 2002, it was also designated as a December birthstone, the first revision since 1912 in the AGTA‘s birthstone list.