Tanzanite

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10 Gemstones Much Rarer Than Diamond
The catchphrase you hear tossed around about tanzanite is that it’s 1000 times rarer than diamond, which it very well may be, considering that it’s found almost exclusively in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, and in limited supplies. Like alexandrite, tanzanite exhibits dramatic color shifts that are dependent upon both crystal orientation and lighting conditions. In this figure you can see how the tanzanite changes color when viewed in vertically polarized light, unpolarized light, and horizontally polarized light, moving from left to right. According to Caltech’s geology division, these color variations are largely due to the presence of vanadium ions. [Figure via Caltech]

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