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).   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.paraiba tourmaline

5 Things You Should Know Before Buying Tanzanite

    1. 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 
    2. 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 
    3. 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
    4. 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
    5. 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.

The Most Valuable Tanzanite

The most valuable tanzanite is bright blue with violet pleochroism (as you turn the stone in the light, you see flashes of violet).  It is large (over 3 carats), perfectly clear and perfectly cut.

Lowest Value: These tanzanite beads are of poor clarity: that is why they had to be made into beads.  They are also quite small.  Their best feature is their strong, purplish color. Low Value: These tanzanite are “gem quality” because they are clear enough to be faceted.  However, they are also small.  Their color is weak and the cut is poor: we can see through the stone and their is not much sparkle. Medium Value:  This tanzanite has an excellent color which makes it quite valuable.  It is well cut.  It’s main detractor is its very poor clarity. High Value:  This tanzanite is very valuable, mostly for it’s intense purple-blue color and its very large size (over 7 carats).  It is also very clear. The cut could be better, but even as it is, this is a “top” tanzanite gemstone.