Scientists identified it as a variety of the mineral zoisite. About five years later, a prospector discovered a large deposit of it in the same area, and serious mining began.
Tiffany & Company recognized its potential as an international seller and made a deal to become its main distributor. Tiffany named the gem after the country it came from, and promoted it with a big publicity campaign in 1968. Almost overnight, tanzanite was popular with leading jewelry designers and other gem professionals, as well as with customers who had an eye for beautiful and unusual gems
Tanzanite’s public recognition and popularity have grown steadily. But there have been wide fluctuations in the gem’s supply and price level, due mostly to Tanzania’s volatile political, social, and economic conditions. That country remains the gem’s only source.
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