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Tanzanite, What's in the name


#1

I don’t want to light this fire again, but I was reading something
interesting about the naming of tanzanite. Instead of calling the
stone “blue zoisite” (like we should call “green amethyst"
prasiolite), Tiffany decided to call the new find Tanzanite because a
senior marketing person thought “zoisite” sounded too much like
"suicide”. Yeah, for real !

Leave it up to the sales department.:wink:

Brian Corll
Brian Corll, Inc.
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055


#2
Tiffany decided to call the new find Tanzanite because a senior
marketing person thought "zoisite" sounded too much like
"suicide". Yeah, for real ! 

Brian, that’s an interesting story, especially if true. And there
definitely wouldn’t be anything wrong with naming it blue zoisite,
just as there isn’t anything wrong with referring to topaz that’s
blue as blue topaz, or beryl that is golden in color as golden beryl.
One of the things about calling prasiolite green “amethyst” that
bothers me most is that the definition of the word amethyst is
"purple." Go ahead, look it up. The whole idea of purple quartz being
called amethyst is because the word amethyst is descriptive of the
color purple. The idea that people are selling prasiolite (green
quartz) as “green purple” cracks me up.

But then, the sales department is far more concerned with sales than
literacy, now, aren’t they :slight_smile: ?

James S. Duncan, G.G.
James in SoFL Who has a whole bunch of blue rubies I’d like to sell. I’m
thinking of calling them “Blue Reds”


#3

Brian,

What’s in a name? Well, millions and millions of dollars. Back in the
1960s Tiffany & Co. tried to secure an exclusive American
distributorship for the new gemstone from Tanzania. Yes, sales and
marketing people came up with the name, but Tiffany & Co. spent
literally millions on negotiations with the then owners of the mines
only to have political unrest topple the corrupt government with the
country’s mineral rights being nationalized under the new Tanzanian
government.

The name Tanzanite at least conveys something about the country of
origin for the gemstone. Whereas green quartz is praseolite (GIA
spelling) and little else can be said about it.

Nanz Aalund
Associate Editor / Art Jewelry magazine
21027 Crossroads Circle / Waukesha WI 53187-1612
262.796.8776 ext.228


#4

Doctor,

Every sales department I’ve had to deal with in my career is more
interested in commissions than anything else, no matter how they earn
them ! Whatever it takes…

Brian Corll
Brian Corll, Inc.
1002 East Simpson Street
Mechanicsburg, PA 17055