Zoisite Var. Tanzanite
Block B, Merelani Mines, Arusha, Tanzania
Small Cabinet, 6.5 x 4.9 x 2.1 cm
This cluster of parallel growth tanzanite crystals is dramatic and sculptural. Natural tanzanite shows 2 colors - blue and purple on axes of view rotated 90-degrees from each other in the horizontal plane. Much material also shows a third color, from brown to red, running up the c-axis when lit from below (vertically). This specimen is somewhat unusual in that it shows purple faces on the broadest, front-facing display side. For whatever reason, these crystals normally show blue on front and purple to the sides, as we would display most specimens. I do not know why this is so, but there you have it - and so, the purple oriented forward is somewhat rare, and makes the piece stand out. When it is lit straight from behind, you see primarily purple with some bleed of blue from the other horizontal axis of color, and some red seeping in from the vertical color axis of tanzanite. From the side, the piece has intense blue color in the tops of the crystals, though the body is partly saturated with red and brown hues which are reflected out of the c-axis. The luster is glassy and the mountain-like form of the piece makes it impressive, and more complex to the eye than the traditional tanzanite "single crystal aesthetic" we mostly see from here. The crystal mass is 112 grams