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Zoisite

Zoisite

Zoisite was discovered in the Saualpe Mountains of Carinthia, Austria in 1805. It may be green, brown, pink, yellow, gray, colorless, or blue to violet. Transparent zoisite is faceted into gemstones while opaque material is usually carved. The more opaque green material, called anyolite, is included with ruby crystals, which are not gem quality, but a nice contrast with the green matrix of the zoisite. Prior to 1967, when the blue-violet gem variety Tanzanite was discovered, the only zoisite used as an ornamental stone was the opaque pink variety from Norway called thulite. This cushion-cut pink zoisite from Tanzania is untreated and is the first transparent pink zoisite in the collection. Zoisite is found in Tanzania (tanzanite), Kenya (anyolite), Norway (thulite), Switzerland, Austria, India, Pakistan, and the USA.

Zoisite

Zoisite

Zoisite was discovered in the Saualpe Mountains of Carinthia, Austria in 1805. It may be green, brown, pink, yellow, gray, colorless, or blue to violet. Transparent zoisite is faceted into gemstones (see above) while opaque material is usually carved. The more opaque green material, called anyolite, is included with ruby crystals, which are not gem quality, but a nice contrast with the green matrix of the zoisite. Prior to 1967, when the blue-violet gem variety Tanzanite was discovered, the only zoisite used as an ornamental stone was the opaque pink variety from Norway called thulite. Zoisite is found in Tanzania (tanzanite), Kenya (anyolite), Norway (thulite), Switzerland, Austria, India, Pakistan, and the USA. This suite of four oval faceted zoisites from Tanzania represents the beautiful range of colors.

Zoisite (variety: Tanzanite)

Zoisite (variety: Tanzanite)

Tanzanite is the gem variety of zoisite. It was first discovered in 1967 in Tanzania, hence its name. Tanzanite exhibits the phenomenon of pleochroism, appearing intense blue, violet, or red depending on the direction through which the crystal or gem is viewed. Consequently, the predominant hue of a tanzanite gem depends on the orientation in which it was cut. The most valuable tanzanite is an intense deep blue with violet highlights. It is commonly heated to obtain a more intense, uniform color. This tanzanite gem weighs 122.74 carats and is the largest faceted tanzanite in the National Gem Collection.

Zoisite (variety: Tanzanite)

Zoisite (variety: Tanzanite)

This beautiful tanzanite gemstone is set in an award-winning platinum and diamond ring designed by Mark Schneider. In 1967, violet-blue crystals of the mineral zoisite were discovered in Tanzania. Tiffany & Co. marketed the new zoisite gems under the name Tanzanite, and since its discovery, the gem has steadily increased in popularity and value. This fancy-cut triangular tanzanite gem exhibits the prized deep sapphire-blue color with highlights of intense violet. This extraordinary ring is the first piece of tanzanite jewelry accessioned into the National Gem Collection.

Zoisite (variety: Tanzanite)

Zoisite (variety: Tanzanite)

The gem variety of zoisite known as tanzanite was first discovered in 1967 in Tanzania. Tanzanite is a strongly pleochroic gem, appearing intense blue, violet, or red depending on the direction from which the crystal is viewed, and the orientation in which a gem is cut. This magnificent pair of matched tanzanite gems weighs approximately 30 carats, and they exhibit beautifully the highly-prized intense sapphire-blue color with modifying highlights of violet. The floral platinum brooch, designed by Harry Winston in 1991, has approximately 24 carats of diamonds. The tanzanite “flowers” can be detached and worn as earrings. The Petersen Tanzanite Brooch was generously gifted to the National Gem Collection in 2002.


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