Legend of Ayanda


The gem was named Tanzanite in honour of the Tanzanian people.

Many thousands of years ago, on the quiet plains of the Maasai Steppe in Tanzania, there lived a close-knit tribe, the Maasai.  After many years of drought and suffering there was still no promise of life-giving rain.  Their land was brown and barren.

The suffering of the Maasai caused their King great pain.  After a mysterious dream, a dream of which he refused to speak of, he announced that he would make a perilous journey to the misty summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, the home of the Gods.  He called aside his beloved daughter, Ayanda, and told her to care for his people until his return.  Tearful and heavy of heart, Ayanda watched her father walk off towards the distant slopes of the fabled peak.

As the dry parched seasons passed without relief, Ayanda cared well for her people and they, in turn, adored their beautiful queen.  But their hearts were deeply troubled by her sad eyes and grieving heart.  One hot and dry night, Ayanda too was visited by a dream.  Her father took her by the hand and guided her to the edge of a vast lake with violet-blue depths.  Ayanda understood that her father would never return but that he was trying to show her the means to save their people from certain death.

So certain that the dream was a message of hope and guidance, Ayanda set off to find the life-giving waters. For many weeks she traveled her arid lands.  Finally she reached the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and there, nestled in a shallow valley of the Merelani Hills was the promised lake.

Awe-struck and weak from fatigue and thirst, Ayanda leaned over to drink from the waters.  She was stunned by what she saw:  her father’s image shone up at her from the crystal blue-violet depths.  She reached to touch his beloved face once more, but it disappeared amongst a swirl of ripples.  On lifting her hand from the water, a small drop, which had clung to a finger, fell onto her lap.  Ayanda gasped with wonder.  The drop had magically transformed into a beautiful, faceted gem the deep violet-blue of the lake.  And as she held it up to the sky, it changed colour, in shifting hues with a vibrancy and life that brought the long-awaited smile to her face.  And the heavens broke with a cool sweet rain, bringing life to her land once more.


Many centuries later, the Maasai people were again struck with hardship and poverty.  Remembering the legend of Queen Ayanda, the village elders decided to make the journey to Ayanda’s fabled lake. But, what they found was not the blue-violet waters that legend spoke of, but a deposit of precious blue-violet rock.  Tanzanite, this rare gemstone, brought relief to the Maasai people, in the place of rain.

To honour the people’s country, the gem was called Tanzanite.  But to honour the Queen of Tanzanite, the Maasai have called the most precious and intensely coloured violet-blue gems Ayanda.


All Ayanda tanzanites are carefully selected and graded and accompanied by a certification that guarantees colour, clarity and exceptional quality. Ayanda is committed to the development of tanzanite internationally and has adopted this unique grading system that describes and categorises tanzanite best. So you’ll be assured that your piece really is the rarest of the rare.

Tanzanite can only be found in certain areas of the world
Tanzanite is known for its mesmerising blue colour and its ability to brighten up any outfit, day or night. The gemstone is generally found near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania.
We utilise the latest in cutting-edge technology
All of our tanzanite is sourced directly from the mine and is cut and polished in-house. Ourspecialised craftsmen will determine the best cut and shape for the specific tanzanite.
By purchasing a tanzanite you contribute to the day-to-day life of the Tanzanian people
Each Tanzanite International creation is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity indicating the unique characteristics of the tanzanite you’ve chosen.

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