A prospector named Manuel d’Souza who was looking for sapphire discovered tanzanite in 1967 in northeastern Tanzania. D’Souza was originally from India and had been looking for stones in the wilds of Tanzania. Eventually, some natives took him to an area in the region of the Merelani Hills near Mount Kilimanjaro, around 90 kilometers from his home town of Arusha. There, he found these precious blue stones he thought were sapphire. According to legend, the Masai herders were actually the ones who originally discovered the stone, when a lightning strike set the surrounding grasslands on fire. When they returned to the land with their livestock, the blue stones were all over the ground. D’Souza soon discovered that the blue stones he had found were not sapphire, so he staked a claim with the government and began mining.

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