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Tanzanite is a violet-blue gemstone from the zoisite family, it was discovered in Tanzania, East Africa in the mid-1960’s.
Tanzanite has been adopted as a December birthstone by the American Gem Trade Association, joining turquoise and zircon.
From AGTA: “Among the important gems discovered in the last 90 years, only one has been added to the official birthstone list: Tanzanite, a violetish-blue gem that often resembles fine sapphire. ….Discovered in Tanzania in the mid-1960s, tanzanite is mined only in the large hilltop area where it was first found. To honor its single-source availability, Tiffany & Co., which introduced tanzanite to the world in 1968, named it after its East African birthplace….Amending the birthstone list is like amending the Constitution. There’s got to be compelling reason and wide support. The last time the birthstone list was revised was 1912, when jewelry industry leaders met to give gems discovered since the formulation of the traditional list a shot at birthstone status.” (American Gem Trade Association)