Mineralogy. a variety of zoisite valued as a gem for its purplish-blue color and strong pleochroism.

1965–70; named after Tanzania, where found; see -ite1

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

"violet-blue gemstone," 1968, named by Henry B. Platt, vice president of Tiffany & Co., because the stone was discovered in the African nation of Tanzania.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Tanzanite, another gemstone, is believed to have been used in a similar way.
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