Legend says that MASAI cattle herders first noticed this incredible gemstone some 40 years ago. After they put out a fire which was kept burning all night to ward off to the cold and wild animals, they noticed brown ZOISITE crystals had turned a deep blue-purple from the heat of the fire.
Today, the Tanzanian Mining Ministry recognises a miner called NDUGU JANANNE NGOMA as the person who discovered Tanzanite – a gemstone created by the transformation of zoisite under extreme heat and pressure…. caused by the movement of the earth’s crust during the formation of the Rift Valley.
The mineral zoisite is fairly common reddish brown stone found throughout the world, but blue zoisite or Tanzanite is EXTREMELY RARE – and actually 1000 times more rare than diamonds.
This is because during crystalisation, the element Vanadium attached itself to common zoisite under unique conditions.
Vanadium is normally found very deep in the magma of the earth – but with volcanic activity and the movement of tectonic plates, zoisite and Vanadium were brought to the surface at the same time… creating a unique gemstone… called Tanzanite.
That is why there is only one Tanzanite mine in the world – found in the Merelani Hills near a small town called Arusha in Tanzania.
The mine is at the base of an extinct stratovolcano called Kilimanjaro – the largest mountain in Africa, and one of the largest free standing mountains in the world – a symbol that represents the country of Tanzania, from which Tanzanite was given it’s name by the gemmologists at Tiffany & Co in Manhattan, New York.
Tanzanite is a gem born in Africa – just as Africa was the birthplace of all diamonds.
This is why diamonds or Tanzanite jewellery from Jewel Africa are more precious than any other you will find because our passion for reflecting the beauty of the treasures created by our Earth, comes from the heart of their creation – Africa.