Home Sapphire Sapphire VS Tanzanite: Which Is more Expensive?

Sapphire VS Tanzanite: Which Is more Expensive?

by Madonna

When it comes to choosing a precious gemstone for jewelry or investment, there are a plethora of options available in the market. Two gemstones that often catch the eye of gem enthusiasts are sapphires and tanzanites. Both are stunning in their own right, but they come with different price tags. In this article, we will delve into the factors that influence the cost of sapphires and tanzanites, ultimately answering the question: Which is more expensive?

Understanding Sapphire

Sapphire is a well-known gemstone that belongs to the corundum family. It is prized for its exceptional hardness, ranking 9 on the Mohs scale, just below the hardness of diamonds. Sapphires are traditionally associated with a rich blue color, but they can be found in various hues, including pink, yellow, green, and even colorless. The deep blue sapphire, often referred to as “royal blue,” is the most sought-after and valuable variety.


Factors Influencing Sapphire Prices

Several factors contribute to the price of sapphires:


1. Color:


As mentioned earlier, the color of a sapphire plays a significant role in determining its value. Deep, vivid blue sapphires are the most valuable, with prices increasing as the color saturation intensifies.

2. Clarity:

Clarity refers to the presence of internal and external flaws, or inclusions, in a sapphire. Stones with fewer inclusions are considered more valuable.

3. Cut:

The cut of a sapphire affects its brilliance and overall appeal. A well-cut sapphire will fetch a higher price than one with a poor cut.

4. Carat Weight:

Larger sapphires are rarer and, consequently, more expensive. However, the overall quality of the stone also influences its price.

5. Origin:

Sapphires from certain regions, such as Kashmir, Burma (Myanmar), and Sri Lanka (Ceylon), are highly regarded for their quality and can command premium prices.

6. Treatments:

Many sapphires undergo treatments like heating to enhance their color and clarity. Untreated sapphires are generally more valuable.

See Also: What Does the Sapphire Represent: A Gem of Elegance & Wisdom

Tanzanite Overview

Tanzanite is a relatively newer addition to the world of gemstones. It was discovered in Tanzania in the 1960s and is prized for its mesmerizing blue-violet color. Tanzanite is a member of the zoisite mineral family and is renowned for its trichroism, which means it can display different colors when viewed from different angles.

Factors Influencing Tanzanite Prices

Tanzanite prices are influenced by several key factors:

1. Color:

Similar to sapphires, the color of tanzanite is a primary determinant of its value. The most valuable tanzanites exhibit a deep, vivid blue-violet hue.

2. Clarity:

As with any gemstone, clarity is important. Tanzanites with fewer inclusions are considered more valuable.

3. Cut:

The cut of a tanzanite gemstone greatly affects its brilliance and visual appeal. A well-cut tanzanite will command a higher price.

4. Carat Weight:

Larger tanzanite stones are rarer and, therefore, more expensive. However, quality should not be sacrificed for size.

5. Treatments:

Tanzanite is often heat-treated to enhance its color. While this is a common industry practice, untreated tanzanites are highly prized and more expensive.

Comparing Sapphire and Tanzanite Prices

Now that we’ve examined the key factors that influence the prices of sapphires and tanzanites, let’s make a direct comparison between the two gemstones.

1. Rarity

One of the critical factors that determine the price of a gemstone is its rarity. Sapphires are found in various parts of the world, including Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, and Australia, among others. However, the most sought-after sapphires come from specific regions, such as Kashmir and Burma, which are known for their exceptional quality and deep blue color. These sapphires are incredibly rare and, consequently, extremely expensive.

On the other hand, tanzanite is found in only one location on Earth—Tanzania. This limited geographical occurrence makes tanzanite rarer than sapphires in general. However, it’s important to note that the supply of tanzanite has increased over the years, and new mining techniques have been developed, which has slightly influenced its availability and, subsequently, its price.

2. Color

Both sapphires and tanzanites are prized for their stunning colors. Deep blue sapphires, especially those from Kashmir, are considered some of the most beautiful and valuable gemstones in the world. The rich, velvety blue of these sapphires is unparalleled. While sapphires can be found in various colors, the deep blue variety remains the most coveted and, therefore, the most expensive.

Tanzanite, on the other hand, is treasured for its unique blue-violet color. Tanzanites in this color range are highly sought after and can be quite expensive. However, tanzanites with lighter or less saturated colors are more readily available and more affordable.

3. Clarity and Cut

Both gemstones are assessed for their clarity and cut. A well-cut gemstone with few inclusions will fetch a higher price regardless of whether it’s a sapphire or a tanzanite. However, because of its exceptional hardness, sapphires tend to have fewer inclusions than tanzanites on average. This can make high-quality sapphires more consistently available, but it doesn’t necessarily mean they are less expensive, as other factors like color and size come into play.

4. Carat Weight

The size of a gemstone, measured in carats, significantly impacts its price. Larger stones are rarer and, therefore, more expensive. This principle applies to both sapphires and tanzanites. However, keep in mind that larger stones also require higher-quality cutting to maximize their beauty.

5. Treatments

Treatment practices are common in both the sapphire and tanzanite markets. Heat treatment is frequently used to enhance the color and clarity of these gemstones. While untreated stones are considered more valuable, treated sapphires and tanzanites can still be stunning and desirable.

See Also: Tanzanite VS Sapphire: Which Is better?

The Price Comparison

Now that we’ve explored the key factors influencing the prices of sapphires and tanzanites, let’s provide a straightforward comparison.

1. Low-Grade Stones:

In general, low-grade sapphires can be more affordable than low-grade tanzanites. This is because tanzanite’s unique color makes even lower-quality stones somewhat desirable.

2. Mid-Grade Stones:

For mid-range quality, sapphires and tanzanites can be relatively close in price, with sapphires often having a slight edge due to their broader availability.

3. High-Grade Stones:

When it comes to top-quality gemstones, sapphires, especially the rare Kashmir and Burmese varieties, are considerably more expensive than tanzanites of similar quality. The exceptional color and scarcity of these sapphires command premium prices.

4. Large Stones:

Larger sapphires, particularly those with excellent color and clarity, are among the most expensive gemstones globally and can far surpass the price of tanzanites of the same size.

5. Investment Potential:

Sapphires, especially the top-quality ones, have a well-established history of retaining and increasing their value over time. They are often considered safer investments compared to tanzanites, which are relatively newer to the market and may have a more uncertain future in terms of value retention.


In the debate of sapphire vs. tanzanite, it’s evident that sapphires, particularly the rare and high-quality varieties, tend to be more expensive than tanzanites of similar quality. However, this does not mean that tanzanites lack value or beauty. Tanzanite’s unique blue-violet color and scarcity make it a desirable gemstone in its own right, especially for those who appreciate its distinctiveness.

Ultimately, the choice between sapphire and tanzanite should be based on your personal preferences, budget, and whether you view the purchase as an investment or a piece of jewelry to be cherished. Both gemstones offer their own allure and charm, and whichever you choose, you’ll be acquiring a piece of Earth’s natural beauty to treasure for generations to come.


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