Zoisite Gemstones: History, Colours and Buying GuideJune 01, 2021
Zoisite is a mineral or rather a group or family of minerals just like Quartz, Garnet, Beryl, Feldspar, and Chalcedony. Identifying a Zoisite gem could, therefore, be quick tricky because many of its members, just as in other gemstone families, are known by other names, e.g. Thulite, Fuchsite, Calcite, Lepidolite, Anyolite, and the most important and certainly most popular Tanzanite, and not just simply this or that color Zoisite.
Zoisite’s ColoursZoisite’s colours are Green, Blue, Gray or Colourless, Purple, Pink, Red and unusual colour combinations in the same crystal of Pink & Yellow; Green & Pink; Blue & Green, Blue and Violet (Tanzanite), and even more stunning and attention-attracting Red & Green & Black in the Anyolite AKA “ruby in Zoisite”. This “ruby in Zoisite”, if it were not for the inclusion of the tiny black crystals, might be mistaken for the Tourmaline Watermelon except that the patterns are slightly different and lack that distinct watermelon look of a red centre surrounded by green.
Zoisite’s HistoryThe year was 1805 when Simon Presern, a mineral dealer, discovered Zoisite in Austria’s Saualpe Mountains. Not knowing what it was he sent a sample to Slovenian mineralogist, Baron Sigmund Zois (1747-1819), who recognized it as a previously unknown or obscure mineral known as Saualpite in honour of its place of discovery. It was then renamed Zoisite in honour of Zois and soon it became one of the most important gemstone minerals of all time with the further discovery of a new variety in 1967, namely Tanzanite in honour of its place of discovery.
Other Members in the Zoisite FamilyIn addition to Tanzanite – the most popular gemstone in the Zoisite Family of Gemstones – and the stunning, attention-grabbing Anyolite, AKA “ruby in Zoisite” gemstone so named because of the addition of corundum as in the ruby, the Zoisite family of gems has other notable and therefore worthy of further examination/identification members. They are as follows in no particular order of importance:
Lepidolite, often accompanied by tourmaline and quartz crystals in granite or tin veins, is a truly remarkable mineral though not technically a stone at all but an important source of lithium (the lightest metal in the world) whose uses run from lithium batteries to household appliances, ornamental ware, mood-stabilizing drugs to jewellery. First discovered in the 18th century it was named ‘lilaite’ because of its lavender colour but later re-named Lepidolite by scientists using the Greek word ‘lepidos’ meaning scale because of its scaly appearance caused by flakes of lithium.
Thulite, sometimes called Rosaline, is a pink opaque variety of Zoisite but what sets the Thulite apart from other members in the Zoisite family is its limited supply and being rarely seen most people know nothing about it. But now, you are somewhat familiar with it and perhaps could even identify it. LL Private Jewellers could undoubtedly aid you in that pursuit.
Calcite is an extremely common mineral found everywhere in the world whose colours range from no color at all (colourless) to gray, white, blue, green, yellow, and orange. Calcite is also believed to possess healing properties.
Fuchsite is another member of the Zoisite family AKA “a mineral of rejuvenation and renewal”, the “Stone of Health”, the “Wish Stone”, and the “Fairy Stone” because its sparkling emerald green colour with flecks of gold running through it is similar to the color of fairy dust. Myth has it too that the Fuchsite will bring Happiness, Miracles and Blessings to the wearer. It was named for Johann Fuchs, a German mineralogist, and is the recognized astrological gem in the Zodiac calendar for Aquarius and Libra.
Geodes are also found in the Zoisite family. What are Geodes? Well, Geodes are hollow rocks in which masses of matter, e.g. crystals, are secluded. The best example in the Zoisite family is the Anyolite or “Ruby in Zoisite” that, as I said above, resembles the Tourmaline Watermelon gemstone.
And lastly but by no means least in the Zoisite family there are the Fluorescent Minerals or “Rocks that Glow” but only in Ultra-Violet light can you see the range of colours and have an amazing eye candy experience because the colours are invisible in ordinary light, giving you another good reason to visit LL Private Jewellers so you can see this phenomenon for yourself.
The history of the Fluorescent Minerals dates back to the 19th century and since then it has become known in various disciplines including biology, optics, mineralogy, and gemology. The best example in the Zoisite family is Calcite that shows off red, blue, white, green, and orange in a single sample. And if a different UV light is used, the Calcite will produce different colours.
The main source for these amazing Zoisite gems is Brazil.
For further information or to see the colorful Zoisite family of gems up close and personal you really should contact LL Private Jewellers where, guaranteed, you won’t be disappointed. You might even be inspired to design your your very own unique jewelry piece using these visually stunning Zoisite gemstones.