Home Tanzanite Tanzanite VS Diamond: Which is Rarer?

Tanzanite VS Diamond: Which is Rarer?

by Madonna

In the world of precious gemstones, rarity often translates to allure and value. Two gemstones that have captured the fascination of jewelry enthusiasts and collectors alike are tanzanite and diamond. While both possess undeniable beauty, they vary greatly in terms of their origin, geological formation, and overall scarcity. In this article, we embark on a journey to decipher the enigma of rarity, comparing tanzanite and diamond to determine which gem holds the title of true scarcity.

1. Tanzanite: The Extraordinary Gem of Tanzania

Tanzanite, a captivating violet-blue gemstone, is a relatively newcomer to the world of precious stones. It was first discovered in 1967 in the Mererani Hills of Northern Tanzania, making it one of the rare gemstones with a single known source on Earth. The gem owes its unique blue hue to the presence of vanadium and traces of other elements in its composition.


1.1. Geological Uniqueness

What sets tanzanite apart from most gemstones is its geological formation. This mesmerizing gem is a variety of the mineral zoisite, and its formation is believed to be a result of metamorphism. Around 585 million years ago, tectonic plate movements and volcanic activity in the region led to the creation of large amounts of blue zoisite. Subsequent natural processes, such as heat and pressure deep within the Earth’s crust, transformed the blue zoisite into tanzanite as we know it today.


1.2. Limited Geographic Location

Tanzanite’s rarity is also attributed to its occurrence within a small area of northern Tanzania, spanning only a few square kilometers. The singular source significantly limits the supply of this captivating gem, making it a prized possession for gem collectors and investors worldwide.


2. Diamonds: The Resplendent Reign of Carbon

Diamonds have reigned as the king of gemstones for centuries. Formed from pure carbon, diamonds boast a dazzling brilliance and have been cherished for their use in jewelry, engagement rings, and various industrial applications.

2.1. Geological Origins

Unlike tanzanite, diamonds are found in various parts of the world and have a broader geological history. Most natural diamonds were formed billions of years ago, approximately 90 to 120 miles deep within the Earth’s mantle. They are created under immense pressure and high temperatures, which cause carbon atoms to crystallize and bond, resulting in the formation of diamonds.

2.2. Abundance and Mining

One of the primary differences between tanzanite and diamonds is their abundance and mining practices. While diamonds are indeed precious, their global distribution and extensive mining operations have made them more readily available in the market compared to tanzanite.

3. Rarity Comparison

Now that we’ve explored the individual uniqueness of tanzanite and diamonds, let’s delve deeper into a side-by-side comparison of their rarity factors.

3.1. Occurrence

Tanzanite’s rarity lies in its occurrence within a limited geographical location, specifically in northern Tanzania. On the other hand, diamonds are found in various countries, including South Africa, Russia, Botswana, Canada, and Australia, among others.

3.2. Geological Formation

The geological formation of tanzanite through metamorphism and its specific origin in Tanzania add to its rarity. In contrast, diamonds have a more widespread formation process involving volcanic pipes, alluvial deposits, and deep-sea mining, which contributes to their relatively higher abundance.

3.3. Supply and Market Availability

Due to its limited source and geological uniqueness, the supply of tanzanite is inherently restricted. As a result, the gemstone may experience fluctuations in availability and price in the market. Diamonds, although rare in their own right, are more consistently available due to the extensive global mining and distribution networks.

4. Is tanzanite rarer than sapphire?

Yes, tanzanite is rarer than sapphire. While both tanzanite and sapphire are highly valued gemstones, tanzanite’s scarcity sets it apart. Tanzanite is found in only one location in the world – the Mererani Hills of Northern Tanzania. This singular source limits the supply of tanzanite, making it more exclusive and harder to come by compared to sapphires.

On the other hand, sapphires are more widely distributed and found in various countries such as Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Australia, and Myanmar, among others. Their broader geographical occurrence contributes to a higher overall availability of sapphires in the gemstone market.

Tanzanite’s unique violet-blue color and geological formation through metamorphism also add to its allure and rarity. Its limited supply, coupled with its captivating beauty, makes tanzanite a highly sought-after gemstone among collectors and enthusiasts worldwide.

5. Where is Tanzanite found?

Tanzanite is found exclusively in one location in the world – the Mererani Hills of Northern Tanzania, near the city of Arusha. This area is situated in the eastern part of Africa, near the renowned Mount Kilimanjaro. The gemstone’s formation is a result of geological processes that occurred over 585 million years ago, involving tectonic plate movements and volcanic activity. These unique geological conditions led to the creation of tanzanite from the mineral zoisite, resulting in its distinct violet-blue color. The singular source of tanzanite in Tanzania makes it one of the rarest gemstones globally.

6. Tanzanite and Diamonds Together

While tanzanite and diamonds stand apart in their individual rarity and appeal, they can also complement each other beautifully when used together in jewelry designs. The striking contrast of tanzanite’s vibrant blue against the sparkling brilliance of diamonds creates a captivating and harmonious union.

7. Conclusion

In the quest to determine the rarer gem between tanzanite and diamonds, both contenders hold unique attributes that make them special in their own right. Tanzanite’s geological formation and limited occurrence in a single region contribute to its exclusivity, while diamonds’ global presence and historic allure ensure their continued popularity.

Ultimately, the perception of rarity and value may vary based on personal preferences and market dynamics. Regardless of which gemstone takes the crown of rarity, both tanzanite and diamonds possess a timeless charm that will continue to captivate generations of gemstone enthusiasts and collectors alike.


1. Which country has the best tanzanite?


Because tanzanite is only found along a 4km strip at the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro, Tanzania is the world’s only supplier of this precious gem, resulting in world-wide interest in this country and the African continent. In early years, the people of Tanzania seemed undecided about tanzanite.

2. Why is tanzanite so rare?

This is due to the fact that it is only found in one very small area of the world. The gemstone was created millions of years ago by the same tectonic shift that created Mount Kilimanjaro and the Great Rift Valley of Tanzania. This once in a lifetime event makes tanzanite one of the world’s most sought-after gemstones.

3.Why was tanzanite banned?

The reason for the ban is to attempt to spur development of local processing facilities, thereby boosting the economy and recouping profits.


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