Tanzanite originates from a single source deep in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The rare, brilliant blue-violet stone is the focus of a new Gemological Institute of America Museum exhibit that opened June 29 at GIA headquarters in Carlsbad, Calif.
To open the exhibit, GIA hosted the fourth presentation in its 2007 Museum Lecture series, “The Tanzanite Foundation: A Celebration of Life.” Presented by Sarah Cort, managing director of the Tanzanite Foundation and Anna Haber, operations director, the lecture reviewed the rich history of tanzanite, including its ties with the indigenous Maasai tribe of Tanzania. According to the Maasai, the rich blue color of tanzanite is sacred and conveys healing, while representing life.
Believed to have formed about 585 million years ago, tanzanite was first discovered in the late 1960’s.
Cort and Haber showcased the 21 award-winning pieces from the Tanzanite Celebration of Life Jewelry Design Awards, held earlier this year in New York City.
These pieces, produced by jewelry designers around the world, include rings, pendants, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, head pieces, and even shoes. They will all be on display at GIA’s Carlsbad headquarters through Sept. 1, in an open-to-the-public exhibit in the S. Tasaki Student Lecture Hall.
Reservations for tours of the exhibit must be made through GIA Guest Services by calling (760) 603-4000. Exhibit hours are Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.