Home Tanzanite How to Identify Real Tanzanite: Unraveling the Mysteries

How to Identify Real Tanzanite: Unraveling the Mysteries

by Madonna

Tanzanite is a mesmerizing gemstone that has captivated the hearts of gem enthusiasts and jewelry lovers worldwide. First discovered in Tanzania in 1967, this blue-violet beauty quickly gained popularity due to its rarity and stunning color. However, its increasing demand has also led to a rise in counterfeit and synthetic tanzanite flooding the market. As a result, it has become crucial for consumers to be able to differentiate between genuine tanzanite and its imitations. In this article, we will delve into the various aspects of identifying real tanzanite, equipping you with the knowledge needed to make an informed purchase or assessment.

What does natural tanzanite look like?

Natural tanzanite is a captivating gemstone renowned for its stunning blue-violet color. The gem’s hue ranges from intense sapphire blue to rich violet, displaying a mesmerizing play of color as it is viewed from different angles. Its distinctive pleochroism gives tanzanite a unique quality, showcasing a blend of vibrant blue and regal violet tones.


When held up to the light, natural tanzanite exhibits excellent transparency, allowing light to pass through and create a dazzling brilliance. The gem’s vitreous to sub-vitreous lustre further enhances its beauty, giving it a captivating sparkle.


Tanzanite’s formation under the Earth’s surface results in occasional natural inclusions, which are internal features that can be seen under magnification. These inclusions, often referred to as “fingerprints of nature,” serve as important indicators of a gem’s authenticity.


Though tanzanite is typically transparent to translucent, each gem can vary slightly, boasting its unique personality and character. The rarity of large and high-quality tanzanite gems further adds to their desirability and value in the world of gem enthusiasts and jewelry collectors.

Does tanzanite sparkle like a diamond?

Tanzanite and diamonds have distinct optical properties, so their sparkle or brilliance is different. Diamonds are renowned for their exceptional brilliance and sparkle due to their high refractive index, which allows them to reflect and refract light intensely, creating a dazzling play of light known as “fire.”

Tanzanite, on the other hand, possesses a lower refractive index compared to diamonds, meaning it does not exhibit the same level of brilliance and sparkle. Instead, tanzanite’s appeal lies in its vibrant blue-violet color and pleochroic nature, where it can display different colors when viewed from various angles, adding a unique and captivating charm.

Tanzanite’s pleochroism can create flashes of blue, violet, and sometimes burgundy or bronze tones when observed in different lighting conditions. While it doesn’t have the same fiery sparkle as diamonds, tanzanite’s color and play of colors make it an alluring gemstone with its own distinctive allure.

Is real tanzanite expensive?

Tanzanite is considered one of the rarest gemstones on Earth, and its rarity directly affects its price. Tanzanite’s exclusivity is primarily due to its single-source origin, found only in a small mining area near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. The gemstone’s alluring blue-violet hue, known for its pleochroism (displaying different colors when viewed from different angles), adds to its desirability among collectors and jewelry enthusiasts.

The quality of the tanzanite also plays a significant role in determining its price. Higher quality tanzanite, exhibiting intense color saturation, minimal inclusions, and a well-defined hue, tends to be more expensive compared to lower-grade stones.

While it is difficult to provide precise pricing information, it’s safe to say that genuine tanzanite can be quite expensive. Prices can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per carat for smaller stones and significantly higher for larger, top-quality gems.

As with any gemstone or valuable item, it’s essential to verify the authenticity and quality of tanzanite before making a purchase. Always rely on reputable dealers or gemologists who can provide certifications and expert assessments to ensure you are getting a genuine and fairly priced tanzanite gem.

How to Identify Real Tanzanite

Identifying real tanzanite can be essential to ensure you are getting an authentic gemstone. Here are some tips to help you identify real tanzanite:

1. Color:

Tanzanite is known for its mesmerizing blue-violet color. Look for stones that display a rich, intense, and saturated hue. Be cautious of gems that appear too dark or too light, as they might not be genuine tanzanite.

2. Pleochroism:

Tanzanite exhibits pleochroism, meaning it can show different colors when viewed from different angles. This effect is especially noticeable in high-quality stones. Observe the gem under different lighting conditions and angles to see if it displays distinct colors.

3. Authenticity Certificate:

Reputable sellers often provide certificates from gemological laboratories that confirm the authenticity of the tanzanite. Look for certifications from well-known and trusted gemological organizations like GIA (Gemological Institute of America) or AGS (American Gem Society).

4. Price:

If the price seems too good to be true for a tanzanite of significant size and quality, it might be a red flag for a potential fake.

If you are uncertain about the authenticity of a tanzanite gem, consult with a professional gemologist who can provide a thorough examination and assessment of the stone. They can help you determine if it is a genuine tanzanite and provide valuable insights into its quality and characteristics.

Is buying tanzanite a good investment?

Buying tanzanite as an investment has both potential benefits and risks that need to be carefully considered. Therefore, it’s crucial to conduct up-to-date research and consult with financial experts before making any investment decisions.


1. Rarity and Limited Supply:

Tanzanite is a rare gemstone found only in a small area in Tanzania. Its limited supply and the fact that it is only sourced from one location could potentially drive its value higher over time.

2. Increasing Demand:

Tanzanite’s popularity has been growing steadily due to its captivating color and uniqueness. The rising demand from both collectors and jewelry enthusiasts may contribute to increasing prices.

3. Color and Aesthetics:

Tanzanite’s vibrant blue-violet color and pleochroic nature make it an attractive gemstone for use in high-end jewelry. As a result, well-cut and beautifully colored tanzanite pieces may hold appeal for collectors and consumers alike.


1. Market Volatility:

Like any investment, the market for gemstones can be volatile, and prices may fluctuate based on factors like supply, demand, economic conditions, and shifts in consumer preferences.

2. Lack of Liquidity:

Tanzanite is not as widely traded as other precious gemstones like diamonds or colored gemstones like sapphires and rubies. This limited market can make it challenging to find a buyer at the desired price when it’s time to sell.

3. Quality Concerns:

The quality of tanzanite can vary significantly, impacting its value. Gems with low color intensity, poor clarity, or uneven cuts may not appreciate in value as much as high-quality stones.

4. Heat Treatment:

Many tanzanites on the market undergo heat treatment to improve their color and remove brown undertones. While common and accepted in the trade, this treatment could affect the long-term value of the stone.

Buying tanzanite can be a good investment if done wisely and with a long-term perspective. However, it’s essential to treat it as a speculative investment due to the inherent risks and lack of liquidity. If you are considering tanzanite as an investment, it is advisable to seek advice from a qualified financial advisor or gemstone expert to make an informed decision based on your individual circumstances and risk tolerance.


Tanzanite’s captivating beauty, coupled with its rarity and origin, makes it a cherished gemstone among collectors and jewelry enthusiasts. However, its popularity has given rise to an influx of counterfeit and synthetic tanzanite in the market. By conducting physical tests, scrutinizing settings, and purchasing from reputable sources, you can confidently identify authentic tanzanite and ensure a worthy investment. Armed with this knowledge, you can now embark on a journey to acquire genuine tanzanite and relish the enchantment of this extraordinary gem for generations to come.


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