Home Knowledges The Radiant Spectrum: What Color Should A Good Tanzanite Be?

The Radiant Spectrum: What Color Should A Good Tanzanite Be?

by Madonna

Tanzanite, a captivating gemstone known for its striking blue and violet hues, has gained popularity for its rarity and unique color-changing properties. As a gem that is only found in one location globally—Tanzania—evaluating the color of tanzanite becomes crucial in determining its quality and value. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of tanzanite color, exploring the factors that contribute to its allure, the ideal color characteristics, and the impact of color on the gemstone’s overall value.

The Tanzanite Color Spectrum: A Mesmerizing Blend of Blues and Violets

Tanzanite is renowned for its pleochroism, a unique feature that allows the gemstone to exhibit different colors when viewed from different angles. This play of colors is particularly pronounced in tanzanite, showcasing a spectrum that ranges from deep blue to violet to burgundy, depending on the orientation of the crystal.


The primary colors associated with tanzanite are blue and violet, and the most sought-after stones display a vivid and saturated combination of these hues. The ability of tanzanite to shift between these colors adds an element of mystery and dynamism, making it a gemstone that never fails to captivate.


See Also: The Beauty of Tanzanite: What Does It Look Like?


Factors Influencing Tanzanite Color: Unraveling the Mysteries

Several factors contribute to the color variations observed in tanzanite, and understanding these elements is essential for evaluating the gemstone’s quality.

1. Trichroism: Tanzanite is trichroic, meaning it exhibits three different colors depending on the crystal’s orientation. The three primary colors in tanzanite are blue, violet, and burgundy. The interplay of these colors determines the overall visual impression of the gemstone.

2. Saturation: The saturation of color refers to the intensity or vividness of the hues present in tanzanite. A highly saturated tanzanite displays deep and vibrant colors, creating a visually striking gemstone. Saturation is a critical factor in determining the gem’s overall beauty and desirability.

3. Tone: Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of the tanzanite’s color. Ideally, tanzanite should possess a medium to medium-dark tone to showcase the richness of its hues without appearing too light or too dark.

4. Pleochroic Colors: The presence of pleochroic colors, specifically blue, violet, and burgundy, is a hallmark of quality tanzanite. The transition between these colors adds depth and complexity to the gemstone, enhancing its visual appeal.

The Ideal Tanzanite Color: A Symphony of Blues and Violets

While personal preferences play a role in selecting tanzanite, certain characteristics define the ideal color for this gemstone.

1. Vivid Blue and Violet Hues: The most desirable tanzanite stones boast vivid and saturated blue and violet hues. These colors should be well-balanced, with neither one overpowering the other. A harmonious blend of intense blue and violet creates a mesmerizing visual impact.

2. Pleochroic Play: The ability to showcase a range of colors, particularly blue, violet, and burgundy, is a sign of high-quality tanzanite. The gemstone should exhibit a noticeable color shift when viewed from different angles, contributing to its dynamic and ever-changing appearance.

3. Medium to Medium-Dark Tone: Tanzanite with a medium to medium-dark tone strikes a balance between the lightness and darkness of the color, allowing the gemstone to display its vibrant hues without appearing too faint or too dark.

4. High Saturation: The colors in tanzanite should be highly saturated, creating a vivid and intense display. Stones with low saturation may appear lackluster, diminishing their overall appeal.

The Impact of Tanzanite Color on Value: Rarity and Desirability

The color of tanzanite plays a pivotal role in determining its overall value. As with many gemstones, the rarer and more vibrant the color, the higher the value. Tanzanite is valued based on the following color characteristics:

1. Intense Blue and Violet: Tanzanite with a rich, intense blue and violet coloration is considered the most valuable. Stones that lean towards a pure blue hue, especially with minimal violet undertones, are particularly prized.

2. Pleochroic Effect: The presence and visibility of the pleochroic effect contribute to the gemstone’s desirability. Tanzanite that clearly exhibits the transition between blue, violet, and burgundy is highly sought after.

3. Saturated Colors: High saturation enhances the beauty of tanzanite, making it a more desirable gemstone. Stones with vivid and well-saturated colors command a premium in the market.

4. Lack of Undesirable Tints: Tanzanite without undesirable tints, such as gray or brown, is considered more valuable. A pure and clean color without noticeable secondary hues enhances the gemstone’s allure.

The Challenges of Tanzanite Color Grading: Subjectivity and Variation

Despite established criteria for evaluating tanzanite color, certain challenges exist in the grading process. The perception of color is inherently subjective, and individual preferences may influence how a particular stone is assessed. Additionally, variations in lighting conditions can impact the way tanzanite colors are perceived, adding an element of complexity to the grading process.

To address these challenges, gemologists and jewelers often use standardized lighting conditions and color grading systems to maintain consistency in their assessments. However, it is essential for buyers and collectors to be aware of the subjective nature of color perception and rely on reputable gemological certifications when making purchasing decisions.

Popular Tanzanite Color Preferences: Trends and Variations

While the ideal tanzanite color remains consistent in terms of vivid blues and violets, popular preferences may shift over time. Trends in the jewelry industry, influenced by fashion, culture, and market dynamics, can impact the desirability of specific color variations.

In recent years, there has been an increased appreciation for tanzanite stones that display a more pronounced violet hue. The allure of these stones lies in their ability to evoke a sense of regal elegance and sophistication. However, personal preferences ultimately guide the choice of tanzanite color, and individuals may be drawn to different variations based on their unique tastes and style preferences.

Enhancements and Treatments: Navigating the Color Landscape

It is important to note that many tanzanite gemstones undergo treatments to enhance their color and overall appearance. Heat treatment, a common practice in the tanzanite industry, is used to intensify the gemstone’s blue and violet hues. While heat treatment is generally accepted and does not significantly diminish the value of the stone, buyers should be aware of any treatments and ensure transparency in the purchasing process.

Natural, untreated tanzanite is rare, and the majority of stones available on the market have undergone some form of enhancement. Reputable jewelers and dealers provide disclosure regarding any treatments, allowing buyers to make informed decisions based on their preferences and ethical considerations.

Caring for Tanzanite: Preserving its Color and Brilliance

Proper care is essential to preserve the color and brilliance of tanzanite over time. While tanzanite is relatively durable, it is not immune to damage, and certain precautions can help maintain its beauty:

1. Avoid Exposure to Heat: Prolonged exposure to high temperatures can alter the color of tanzanite. It is advisable to remove tanzanite jewelry before engaging in activities that involve excessive heat, such as hot tubs or saunas.

2. Protect from Harsh Chemicals: Tanzanite should be kept away from harsh chemicals, including cleaning agents and beauty products. These substances can damage the gemstone’s surface and impact its color.

3. Gentle Cleaning: Clean tanzanite jewelry with a soft brush and mild detergent. Avoid ultrasonic or steam cleaning methods, as these can cause stress on the gemstone and potentially affect its color.

4. Store Separately: When not in use, store tanzanite jewelry separately from other gemstones to prevent scratches. Ideally, wrap it in a soft cloth or place it in a fabric-lined jewelry box.

The Tanzanite Market: A Balance of Rarity and Accessibility

Tanzanite’s unique color-changing properties, coupled with its limited geographic occurrence, contribute to its status as a rare and coveted gemstone. The Tanzanian government’s control over tanzanite mining and the potential depletion of the primary deposit in Merelani Hills further underscore the gemstone’s rarity.

Despite its scarcity, tanzanite remains relatively accessible to consumers, making it a popular choice for those seeking a distinctive and vibrant gemstone. The gem’s availability in a range of sizes and qualities allows individuals with varying budgets to enjoy the beauty of tanzanite.

Investing in Tanzanite: Balancing Beauty and Value

As with any gemstone, investing in tanzanite requires a careful consideration of both aesthetic and financial factors. While the rarity and uniqueness of tanzanite contribute to its value, individual preferences for color and overall appearance play a significant role in the investment decision.

Collectors and investors seeking to add tanzanite to their portfolios should prioritize stones with high-quality color, excellent clarity, and minimal treatments. It is advisable to obtain a gemological certificate from a reputable laboratory, providing an objective assessment of the gemstone’s characteristics.

Tanzanite in Jewelry Design: From Classic to Contemporary

Tanzanite’s vibrant and dynamic color palette makes it a versatile choice for jewelry designers, allowing for a range of creative expressions. From classic solitaire rings to contemporary and avant-garde designs, tanzanite’s ability to captivate with its color-changing properties has made it a favorite among jewelry enthusiasts.

Designers often incorporate tanzanite into various jewelry pieces, including rings, earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. The gemstone’s ability to transition between blue and violet adds an element of surprise and sophistication to jewelry designs, making each piece unique and memorable.

Tanzanite Color in Cultural Context: Symbolism and Significance

Throughout history, gemstones have held cultural significance, and tanzanite is no exception. While tanzanite is a relatively recent discovery compared to other gemstones, it has quickly gained recognition and symbolism.

Tanzanite’s vibrant blue hues are often associated with qualities such as calmness, spirituality, and communication. The gemstone’s ability to transition to violet adds a layer of complexity, symbolizing transformation and adaptability. As a result, tanzanite is sometimes chosen for jewelry with symbolic meaning, such as engagement rings or milestone gifts.

See Also: The Worth Of a 2 Carat Tanzanite: What You Need To Know

In Conclusion: Decoding the Beauty of Tanzanite’s Color

Tanzanite’s color, with its enchanting blend of blues and violets, defines the gemstone’s allure and uniqueness. From the geological processes that shape its color spectrum to the subjective nature of human perception, tanzanite color is a complex and captivating subject.

As individuals explore the world of tanzanite and make choices based on personal preferences, it is essential to appreciate the gemstone’s rarity, its impact on value, and the importance of ethical sourcing and transparent practices. Whether cherished for its mesmerizing color-changing properties, its symbolic significance, or its role in contemporary jewelry design, tanzanite stands as a gemstone that continues to captivate and inspire generations of gem enthusiasts.


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