Tanzanite is the gem variety of zoisite and its color is always in shades of blue with sometimes violet, grey or greenish hues visible as the gemstone turns (pleochroism). It is unique in the gemstone world because it was discovered quite recently (in 1967). Since its discovery, and especially in the last 20 years, its value has skyrocketed. The major known tanzanite deposits are in East Africa and seem to be mostly exhausted. It is a very popular gemstone and fine tanzanite peices are getting increasingly hard to find.
5 Things You Should Know Before Buying Tanzanite
- Color: The most important factor in the value of a tanzanite is its color. The ideal color is a rich purple-blue. Less valuable colors of tanzanite tend to be pale and greyish. Getting a sense for what the best colors for tanzanite is essential for making a wise purchase decision. See pictures to learn more about How COLOR affects the value of a tanzanite
- Size: Large peices of tanzanite are exceptionally rare, and therefore command very high prices. A tanzanite over 3 carats is hard to find and very expensive. Learn more about How SIZE affects the value of a tanzanite
- Clarity: After color, clarity is probably the most important factor in tanzanite. Lower quality, lower priced tanzanite will have many internal flaws, or inclusions, inside it. Perfectly clear tanzanite is hard to find and priced accordingly. Learn more about How CLARITY affects the value of a tanzanite
- Cut: When the color and clarity of a tanzanite are of high quality, a good cut will make the difference between a nice stone and a once-in-a-lifetime stone. Learn more about How CUT affects the value of a tanzanite
- Treatments, Synthetics and Imitations: Tanzanite often goes through some kind of labratory treatment and is also sometimes imitated. Tanzanite is also sensitive and requires care when handling. Read here to learn about tanzanite treatments, imitations and care.