Home Knowledges What Color Should Tanzanite Be: What You Need To Know

What Color Should Tanzanite Be: What You Need To Know

by Madonna

Tanzanite, a gemstone with a name as exotic as its appearance, has become increasingly popular over the years for its striking hues and rarity. But what exactly should the color of tanzanite be? In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the vibrant world of tanzanite, exploring its colors, their variations, and the factors that influence its captivating palette. From the coveted deep blues to unique violet tones, tanzanite’s spectrum of colors holds a myriad of surprises. Join us as we embark on a journey to uncover the ideal colors of this enchanting gemstone.

The Spectrum of Tanzanite Colors

Tanzanite is celebrated for its wide range of colors, each with its unique charm and allure. The primary colors associated with tanzanite are blue and violet, but within these categories, you’ll find a beautiful spectrum of shades and tones.


1. Blue Tanzanite

The most desirable and valuable tanzanite color falls under the blue spectrum. Ideally, blue tanzanite should exhibit a vivid and rich blue hue with a velvety quality. This specific shade of blue is often referred to as “electric blue” and is characterized by a deep and saturated color that can range from a medium to a dark tone.


a. Deep Blue: Tanzanite with a deep blue color is considered the most valuable and sought after. It is often compared to the color of a sapphire, creating a striking visual impact.


b. Violet-Blue: Many tanzanites exhibit a delightful violet-blue hue that adds a touch of purple to the blue spectrum. This shade is still highly regarded and treasured for its unique beauty.

2. Violet Tanzanite

Violet tanzanite leans more towards the purple side of the spectrum, showcasing a regal and luxurious hue. The violet tones in tanzanite can vary in intensity and can range from light to dark.

a. Lavender Tanzanite: Tanzanite with a lighter violet tone is often described as “lavender.” This color imparts a delicate and enchanting quality to the gem.

b. Royal Blue: In some instances, tanzanite can exhibit a violet hue with strong blue undertones, creating a captivating royal blue color.

3. Rare and Exceptional Colors

While blue and violet are the primary categories, tanzanite can display other intriguing colors as well. These less common shades include:

a. Green Tanzanite: Some tanzanite gemstones may display green or yellow-green hues. These are less common but are appreciated for their unique and captivating appearance.

b. Pink Tanzanite: In very rare cases, tanzanite can exhibit a pinkish hue, often referred to as “pink tanzanite.” These are highly prized for their distinctiveness.

See Also: How Much Is Tanzanite Worth Per Carat: A Comprehensive Guide

The Factors Influencing Tanzanite’s Color

Tanzanite’s remarkable color is influenced by several factors, including the presence of specific elements within the gemstone and the angle of observation. Understanding these factors helps to appreciate the gem’s wide spectrum of colors.

1. Trichroism

One of the most intriguing aspects of tanzanite is its trichroism, which means it can display three different colors when viewed from different angles. The three primary colors are blue, violet, and brown. The orientation of the tanzanite’s crystal structure plays a role in how these colors are perceived. This trichroic phenomenon adds to the gem’s captivating and dynamic appearance.

2. Vanadium Content

The presence of vanadium within the tanzanite crystal structure is the key element responsible for its blue and violet colors. Vanadium absorbs certain wavelengths of light, resulting in the characteristic blue and violet hues. The specific concentration of vanadium determines the depth and intensity of these colors.

3. Heat Treatment

Many tanzanite gemstones undergo heat treatment to improve their color. This treatment can remove the brownish or yellowish undertones, enhancing the blue and violet hues. Heat-treated tanzanites are considered stable and durable. It is important to note that the majority of tanzanite on the market has undergone this treatment.

Ideal Colors and Valuation

The ideal color for tanzanite depends on personal preference, but in the gem trade, deep blue tanzanite with a strong violet component is considered the most valuable. The depth and saturation of the color, in addition to the presence of trichroism, contribute to its desirability.

When evaluating the quality of tanzanite, gem experts consider the following aspects:

1. Hue:

A desirable tanzanite should exhibit a primary hue of blue or violet. The presence of other hues, such as green or gray, can lower the gem’s value.

2 .Saturation:

The saturation of the color refers to the intensity or vividness of the blue or violet hue. More saturated tanzanites are generally preferred.

3. Tone:

The tone of tanzanite describes its lightness or darkness. Ideal tanzanite colors fall within a medium to dark tone range, but personal preference can vary.

4. Clarity:

Clarity is crucial when assessing the quality of tanzanite. Stones with minimal inclusions or blemishes are more valuable. Eye-clean tanzanites are highly sought after.

5. Size:

Larger tanzanite gemstones are relatively rare and therefore more valuable per carat than smaller stones. Larger tanzanites are often chosen for centerpieces in jewelry.

Tanzanite’s Fascinating Journey from Discovery to Popularity

The story of tanzanite is a remarkable one that involves chance discovery, an extraordinary journey, and the rise to global fame.

1. Discovery in Tanzania

Tanzanite was first discovered in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania in the late 1960s. The gemstone was found in the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, one of Africa’s most iconic landmarks. At the time, the mineralogical community was astounded by this new gemstone, which exhibited a captivating blue-violet color.

2. Renaming and Global Popularity

Initially known as “blue zoisite,” the gem was renamed “tanzanite” by Tiffany & Co., the renowned American jewelry company, in an effort to market it to a broader audience. The name “tanzanite” not only reflects its Tanzanian origin but also adds an air of exclusivity and exotic appeal.

Tiffany & Co. played a significant role in popularizing tanzanite and introducing it to the global market. The gem’s mesmerizing colors, coupled with its limited geographic source, further fueled its popularity.

Tanzanite’s Rarity and Ethical Sourcing

Tanzanite’s unique appeal is amplified by its limited geographical source. It is found in a single location in the world: the Merelani Hills in Tanzania. This exclusivity contributes to its rarity and desirability.

In recent years, ethical sourcing and responsible mining practices have gained prominence in the gemstone industry. Efforts are being made to ensure that tanzanite mining benefits the local community and that it is conducted in an environmentally sustainable manner. These initiatives aim to preserve the beauty of tanzanite while promoting the well-being of those who work in the industry.

Tanzanite’s Cultural Significance

Tanzanite has acquired cultural significance in various aspects, from its adoption as a birthstone to its presence in royal and celebrity jewelry.

1. December Birthstone

Tanzanite is designated as the birthstone for December, making it a popular choice for December-born individuals. The rich blue and violet hues of tanzanite are believed to symbolize wisdom, truth, and serenity.

2. Royal Connections

Tanzanite has made its way into the world of royalty. Princess Diana, known for her impeccable taste in jewelry, owned a tanzanite and diamond necklace, a testament to the gem’s regal allure. This royal connection has further elevated the gem’s status.

3. Celebrity Endorsement

In the realm of celebrities, tanzanite has gained popularity among Hollywood stars and other notable figures. Its striking color and unique story have made it a favorite choice for red carpet events and public appearances.

See Also: How to Clean Tanzanite Jewelry at Home: All You Need To Know

Conclusion: The Kaleidoscope of Tanzanite Colors

In conclusion, tanzanite’s colors encompass a captivating spectrum that ranges from the deepest blues to enchanting violets and even rare greens and pinks. The beauty of tanzanite is a result of various factors, including the presence of vanadium, trichroism, and the gem’s geological formation.

Tanzanite’s appeal extends beyond its aesthetic beauty; it carries a rich history, cultural significance, and a promise of ethical sourcing. Whether you favor the intense blue of a “perfect” tanzanite or are intrigued by the charm of its violet and green variations, tanzanite is a gemstone that continues to captivate, inspire, and mesmerize.

So, when contemplating what color tanzanite should be, remember that the answer lies in the eye of the beholder. The wide spectrum of tanzanite colors ensures that there is a shade for every personal preference and style, making tanzanite a gemstone of enduring fascination and diversity.


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