Tanzanite: An Alternative Birthstone for December Babies

“The tones of gray, pale turquoise and pink will prevail.” – Christian Dior

Tanzanite Birthstone
There are three birthstones for the month of December: tanzanite, zircon and turquoise. All three of these stones are a deep blue color and have their own history and chemical composition. One of the more interesting of the three is tanzanite, a gem you may not have heard of before. This rare gem is only found in Tanzania and was only recently discovered in 1967. Tanzanite gets its deep blue color from trace amounts of vanadium.
Tanzanite was discovered by Maasai herders who were tending to the Merelani Hills around Arusha, Tanzania. These herders came across blue crystals and notified a prospector who then registered the area with the government to begin mining. The name Tanzanite was coined by Tiffany and Company who became the primary distributor of the gem and wanted to showcase the rare geographical source of this stone.

Category: Sorosilicate
Chemical Formula (Ca2Al3(SiO4)(Si2O7)O(OH)) + (Cr,Sr)
Crystal system Orthorhombic
Color Blue, violet
Hardness 6.5
Luster Vitreous
Streak White to colorless
Specific gravity 3.1 to 3.38