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While zoisite has been known for some time, gem-quality zoisite wasn't found until 1967, when a deposit was uncovered in Tanzania. This is still the only source for tanzanite, one of the most recent additions to the gem world. It gained almost immediate popularity both for its scarcity and its rich, blue-violet color. It is often heat-treated to bring out a uniform color. While a prized stone, caution should be used when it is worn in rings, since it is fairly soft and can be scratched or chipped. Although it usually has good clarity, tanzanite can be damaged by ultrasonic cleaners, so other cleaning methods are recommended.
Needless to say, as a recently discovered stone, tanzanite has no ancient legends associated with it.