Pleochrism : One tanzanite, many colors.

Published: May 11, 2017

All tanzanite has the rare ability to be two different colors at the same time.  

Tanzanite exhibits a “Oh wow, I thought it was-blue-but-now-it’s-violet-no-wait-its-blue again” quality called pleochroism, an optical effect where the stone actually is different colors when viewed from different angles.

Meaning “many colors” in Greek,  pleochroism is the ability displayed by some natural gemstones to split light along optic axes in such a way that the stone is one color from one direction, and another when viewed from another direction. As such every tanzanite will display both violet and blue, depending on which angle you hold it.

Indeed, as with tanzanite, a few stones can actually dazzle you with yet another color : some deeply colored tanzanite over ten carats may show flashes of a third color – a deep pinkish red or burgundy flash.  The result (called trichroism) is honestly beautiful, and almost magical with its depth and play of color. This general gorgeousness – combined with Tanzanite’s incredible rarity –  is one of the reasons Tanzanite is one of the world’s most desirable gemstones.