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>> Group(s) : silicates
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Identified by Werner in 1805 in the Austrian Alps, it was named after the Austrian Siegmund Zois, Baron von Edelstein (1747-1819).
It is part of the epidote group. Its best-known variety is tanzanite which is not a mineral recognized by the International Mineralogical Commission for whom it is just a zoisite variety.
In the 1990s, some colorless, green, orange-brown zoisites were discovered, the green chromite variety was wrongly called "green tanzanite".
It exists varieties of opaque zoisites, brightly colored in green, pink, black, and are used to make ornaments or cabochons:
thulite is a soft pink variety of zoisite, a color due to manganese, often veined in white or compact pink, whose name recalls the legendary island of Thule, which the Greeks placed in northern Europe, probably today’s Norway.
The anyolite which means green in Maasai, is a variety with inclusions of black hornblende and opaque rubies, discovered in 1954 between Tanzania and Kenya.

Exploited sites

its most famous variety, tanzanite, is only found in Tanzania. It is also found in South Africa, Madagascar, Australia, China, Pakistan, in the Alps in Europe, in the United States, South America(Chile and Brazil).
The thulite is located in Western Australia, the United States (North Carolina), Namibia, Norway. The anyolite comes from Tanzania.

See pictures of the mines / other pictures

Use in jewelry

Tanzanite is the only variety used in jewelry.
The thulite and the anyolite are used as ornamental stones, or are cut into cabochons or in decorative objects.

Daily care and precautions

It is impervious to acids. However it is not to be exposed to shocks or scratches. Washing with water added with dish soap, rinse thoroughly with water then with alcohol and fast drying at room temperature.

Looking alike stones

amethyst , iolite , kyanite , diopside , rhodochrosite , rhodonite , sillimanite , spinel

Historical healing properties

Thulite would be a dynamic stone causing the urge to act, to take decisions. It would regolate our resources in order to mobilize our energy and find solutions.
The anyolite combines the properties of ruby and zoisite. It would strengthen our passionate side, our optimism in life, our enthusiasm. It would help our personal development, our ability to anticipate the future by building on our unused capacities. It's also something very energizing and positive.

Imitations and treatments

There are glass imitations and doublets but the imitations are focused on tanzanite ..
The density of 3.10 of thulite distinguishes it from rhodochrosite and rhodonite.

Chemical characteristics

calcium aluminium silicate

Physical characteristics

Main color : colourless

Other colors : grey, yellow, pink, green

The purple-blue variety is called tanzanite

Color of streak : white

Luster : vitreous

Hardness : 6.5 to 7.0

Density : 3.35

Cleavage : perfect

Fracture : uneven

pearly on the cleavage

Optical properties

Transparency : transparent, translucent, opaque

the anyolite and the thulite are substantially opaque

Refractive Index : 1.691 - 1.720

Double refraction : 0.006

Weak, biaxial (+)

visible double refraction : no

Dispersion : 0.030 (0.010)

Pleochroism : very strong

Number of colors : 3

Visible especially for tanzanite or colorful varieties

Fluorescence : none


Multifaceted prisms, often striated, fibrous or elongated crystals


Crystal system : orthorhombic

Other informations

Astrological sign : Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Scorpio, Aquarius

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  • Cancer Cancer
  • Leo Leo
  • Virgo Virgo
  • Scorpio Scorpio
  • Aquarius Aquarius

Thulite is suitable for Gemini and Taurus. The anyolite to Scorpions, Lions and Aries.