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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.

Image Number: Chip Clark
Catalog Number: G10195
Weight: total 30 carats
Gift of Donald E. and Jo Anne Petersen , 2002


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Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History Department of Mineral Sciences website Credits