Home Knowledges Is Tanzanite Still Valuable: The Allure & Investment Potential

Is Tanzanite Still Valuable: The Allure & Investment Potential

by Madonna

Tanzanite, with its mesmerizing violet-blue hues, has long captured the hearts of gemstone enthusiasts and collectors. Since its discovery in Tanzania in the 1960s, this rare and stunning gemstone has been celebrated for its unique color, rarity, and potential as an investment. In this article, we will delve into the world of tanzanite, its origins, characteristics, and the factors influencing its value. We will also explore its current standing in the gemstone market and whether it remains a valuable and sought-after gem.

The Enigmatic Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a relatively recent addition to the world of gemstones, both in terms of its discovery and its rise to prominence. Its name pays homage to its country of origin, Tanzania, where it was first unearthed in the Merelani Hills near the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite’s story is one of serendipity, as it was initially mistaken for blue sapphire due to its striking blue-violet color.


The Geological Wonder of Tanzanite

Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral zoisite, composed of calcium aluminum silicate. What sets tanzanite apart is its trichroism, the ability to display different colors when viewed from various angles. In its rough form, tanzanite typically appears brown or reddish-brown. However, through a heat treatment process, it transforms into the captivating violet-blue hue that has become its trademark.


The unique geological conditions that gave birth to tanzanite are remarkable. It formed in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, where a combination of heat from volcanic activity and the presence of vanadium, an essential element, led to the creation of this extraordinary gem. Yet, these very conditions also contribute to tanzanite’s scarcity, as there are only a few known deposits worldwide.


Tanzanite’s Allure and Characteristics

Tanzanite is celebrated for several key characteristics that make it a standout gemstone:

1. Vivid Color

The most defining feature of tanzanite is its remarkable color. Its hues range from deep blue to violet-blue, with a captivating play of violet, blue, and sometimes even burgundy when viewed from different angles. This mesmerizing coloration is what sets tanzanite apart from other gemstones.

2. Rarity

Tanzanite is considered one of the rarest gemstones on Earth. While it is estimated that tanzanite reserves may eventually be depleted, its limited geographical source makes it even scarcer. Some gem experts believe that tanzanite may become increasingly difficult to obtain in the coming years, adding to its allure as a collector’s item.

3. Pleochroism

Tanzanite’s pleochroism, the ability to display different colors depending on the angle of observation, adds to its charm. This property gives tanzanite a dynamic and ever-changing appearance, making it a gemstone of great visual interest.

4. Transparency and Clarity

High-quality tanzanite gemstones are known for their excellent transparency and clarity. These qualities allow for the full display of the gem’s stunning color and pleochroic effects.

5. Versatility

Tanzanite’s color complements a wide range of jewelry designs. Whether set in rings, necklaces, earrings, or bracelets, tanzanite adds a touch of elegance and sophistication to any piece.

What is the value range of tanzanite?

The value of tanzanite can vary widely based on several factors, including its color, carat weight, clarity, cut, and market demand. Generally, tanzanite falls into a price range that can be roughly categorized as follows:

1. Commercial Grade Tanzanite:

This category includes tanzanite gemstones with lighter color, more noticeable inclusions, and smaller carat weights. Prices for commercial grade tanzanite can range from $50 to $500 per carat.

2. Fine Grade Tanzanite:

Fine tanzanite gemstones exhibit a richer, more vibrant blue-violet color, better clarity, and larger carat weights. Prices for fine grade tanzanite can range from $500 to $1,500 per carat.

3. Exceptional Grade Tanzanite:

These are top-tier tanzanite gemstones known for their exceptional color saturation, transparency, and carat weight. Prices for exceptional grade tanzanite can exceed $1,500 per carat and may reach several thousand dollars per carat for truly remarkable specimens.

It’s important to note that tanzanite prices can fluctuate due to market trends, supply and demand dynamics, and economic conditions. Additionally, untreated tanzanite gemstones, which are rare, tend to command higher prices compared to treated stones.

When considering the value of a specific tanzanite gemstone, it’s crucial to have it evaluated by a reputable gemologist or jeweler who can assess its individual characteristics and provide an accurate appraisal. Additionally, gemstone certificates from recognized gemological laboratories can provide valuable information about a tanzanite’s quality and authenticity, which can be helpful in determining its value.

See Also: Tanzanite Unveiled: Understanding the Worth of a 5-Carat Gem

The Tanzanite Market: Past and Present

Tanzanite made its debut in the international jewelry market in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Its introduction was marked by an enthusiastic response from jewelry designers, collectors, and consumers who were captivated by its unique color and allure.

Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, tanzanite gained popularity as a gemstone for fine jewelry, particularly in the United States. It found its place in engagement rings, necklaces, earrings, and other pieces. During this period, tanzanite was often marketed as an alternative to more traditional blue gemstones like sapphire.

However, the tanzanite market faced challenges in the 1990s, including issues related to ethical mining practices and concerns about the gem’s rarity. Efforts were made to address these concerns, such as the establishment of the Tanzanite Foundation, which aimed to promote responsible mining and trade practices.

In recent years, tanzanite has seen a resurgence in popularity, driven by its unique color and increased consumer awareness of ethical sourcing. Jewelers and designers have continued to incorporate tanzanite into their collections, and the gemstone has maintained its status as a sought-after choice for fine jewelry.

Tanzanite as an Investment

Tanzanite’s appeal as an investment is a topic of interest for many gemstone enthusiasts and collectors. Several factors contribute to its potential as an investment:

1. Rarity and Scarcity

Tanzanite’s limited geographical source and the possibility of depleting reserves make it a potentially valuable collector’s item in the long term. As the supply becomes scarcer, the value of existing tanzanite gemstones may appreciate.

2. Consumer Demand

Despite fluctuations in market trends, tanzanite has maintained a dedicated following. Continued consumer demand for this gemstone suggests that it may retain or increase in value over time.

3. Quality and Rarity

Investors often seek high-quality tanzanite gemstones with exceptional color, clarity, and carat weight. These top-tier specimens have the greatest potential for value appreciation.

4. Ethical Sourcing

As ethical considerations become more important to consumers, tanzanite’s association with responsible mining practices may enhance its appeal to socially conscious investors.

5. Gemstone Treatments

Understanding the treatment history of a tanzanite gemstone is essential for investors. Untreated tanzanite gems are generally considered more valuable, and their rarity can drive up their market price.

It’s important to note that like all investments, tanzanite carries risks. The gemstone market can be influenced by various factors, including economic conditions, changes in consumer preferences, and shifts in the supply chain. Potential investors should conduct thorough research and consider seeking advice from gemstone experts or financial professionals before making investment decisions.

See Also: Does Tanzanite Fade: Everything You Need To Know

Conclusion: Tanzanite’s Enduring Allure

Tanzanite, with its captivating color and remarkable geological origins, continues to hold a special place in the world of gemstones. Its unique combination of rarity, beauty, and versatility makes it a gemstone that appeals to collectors, jewelry enthusiasts, and investors alike. While its market has seen fluctuations over the years, tanzanite’s enduring allure suggests that it remains a valuable and sought-after gemstone in the world of fine jewelry and beyond. Whether cherished for its aesthetic beauty or considered for its investment potential, tanzanite continues to shine as a true gem of the natural world.


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