03-26. Zoisite #1.

Zoisite is the mineral I selected for week #13. It was first described by A. G. Werner in 1805 and named after naturalist Sigmund Zois, who sent him a specimen from Carinthia.

Zoisite is part of the orthorhombic group. It is usually found in small quantity. It does not have significant use in industry because it is not extremely hard but high-grade zoisite is often cut and polished for ornamental and jewelry uses.

Tanzanite, a subset of zoisite, was discovered in the 1960s and has become a very popular gem among collectors because of its transparent bluish color. Remarkably, the only known source of Tanzanite is a five square mile hilltop at Merelani, next to the Kilimanjaro mountain range.


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