Tanzanite museum

1 Hour


    Tanzanite is one of the world’s rarest gemstones and mined only in Tanzania – hence its name! Tanzanite is the violet blue to blue violet variety of the mineral zoisite. It is mined commercially only in one area of the world: the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, at the foothills of Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is a trade name that was first used by Tiffany & Co for gem-quality specimens of the mineral Zoisite. But because it might be pronounced “suicide” they renamed it – it certainly wouldn’t sell well otherwise.

    If you are interested to know more about this blue/ violet stone, a visit to the Tanzanite museum in Arusha is an activity for you. Learn all about the history of this mineral, how it was discovered and mined. See for yourself how each expensive gem is graded and cut and if you like you can even buy one of these rare gems.


    Gem Story

    The Blue gemstone origins

    The world’s only source of this alluring stone is located on one very small patch of land at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzania, a country rich in folklore, boasts an ancient story in which the local Maasai saw a bolt of lightning come down from the sky and strike the ground turning all the rocks to a shimmering blue – Tanzanite.

    Mining Process

    A Journey Inside Mererani

    Tanzanite is commercially mined in only one small area in the Mererani (or Merelani) Hills in Northern Tanzania, at the foothills of Mt Kilimanjaro. Originally, Tanzanite could easily be collected on the surface, but this scavenger mining quickly gave way to pits and now tunnels, some of which extend hundreds of meters beneath the surface.

    Cutting & Polishing

    Professional care

    It takes years of training to cut Tanzanite to the point that it can be certified as an ‘excellent cut’, where the stone reflects maximum brilliance. Due to its ability to show either blue or violet from different angles, the cutting process plays a crucial role in displaying the true colors of the gemstone. The cutting direction determines the gem’s overall face-up colour.


    Tanzanite Grading System

    Once the stone is cut and polished, it has to be graded in a laboratory to determine its quality. The Tanzanite Experience Museum is also home to the Tanzanite Laboratory where all the gemstones are expertly assessed before being made available for purchase.


      We love to welcome visitors from all over the world to one of the many attractions in Arusha. We get to share our knowledge and love of Tanzanite.

      We suggest that you allow a minimum of 1 hours to go through the tour, including the cinema. However, if you are also considering purchasing some Tanzanite, you should definitely factor in a little more time to ensure that you do not have to rush while picking your perfect piece.

      Why is tanzanite only found in Tanzania?


      This explains why tanzanite is only found in one area in the world. The morphing together of two tectonic plates in this specific area of Tanzania resulted in a particular mix that has not been discovered anywhere else in the world.

        Where is tanzanite found in Tanzania?


        Mererani Hills
        Tanzanite is only found in Simanjiro District of Manyara Region in Tanzania, in a very small mining area approximately 7 km (4.3 mi) long and 2 km (1.2 mi) wide near the Mererani Hills.

          Can tanzanite go in sun?


          Exposure to intense light (natural or artificial) for an extended period of time can cause the tanzanite to eventually lose its color. Additionally, it can get scratched by harder stones.

            Can I wear tanzanite everyday?

            Yes, you can wear tanzanite jewelry every day (if need be) but with utmost care from your end.

              Can tanzanite go in water?

              When worn, pendants are much more protected than rings, so Tanzanites are fine to wear every day as a pendent. I’d still recommend removing them before sports or swimming, or showering

                Can you buy tanzanite in Tanzania?


                While buying tanzanite directly from Tanzania could be cheaper, it’s not always the case. Your price will depend on various factors, including the dealer’s overhead costs, market conditions, and the quality of the gemstone.

                  You can send your enquiry via the form below.

                  Tanzanite museum
                  40% Off
                  From $50 $30
                  / Adult
                  From $20 $15
                  / Child

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