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How to Determine the Value of Tanzanite

Tanzanite, named after Tanzania where it was discovered in 1967, resembles sapphire with a bluish violet color but costs far less. Tanzanite gained popularity in the 80s and 90s and, despite its relative fragility, remains a popular choice for jewelry.

Set tanzanite in a special-occasion ring to avoid damaging it with daily wear.

Things You Will Need

  • Jeweler's loupe
  • Jeweler's scale

Tanzanite, named after Tanzania where it was discovered in 1967, resembles sapphire with a bluish violet color but costs far less.  Tanzanite gained popularity in the 80s and 90s and, despite its relative fragility, remains a popular choice for jewelry.

Tanzanite comes out of the ground in only Tanzania and Kenya, making it relatively rare among gemstones.  Determining the value of tanzanite, as with other gemstones, depends on its size, quality and color and can only be authoritatively confirmed by a licensed appraiser.

  1. Weigh the tanzanite on a jeweler's scale to determine its carat weight. If you don't have access to a jeweler's scale, estimate the weight on a scale that measures in fractions of a gram. Convert grams to carats by multiplying the number of grams by five.
  2. Determine a starting value of the tanzanite by multiplying its carat weight by $450. Although diamonds and other gemstones increase in value per carat and larger sizes, tanzanite normally comes out of the ground in fairly large pieces, making its increased value less dependent on its large size than with other gemstones.
  3. Examine the tanzanite under the jeweler's loupe. Subtract value per carat for every visible flaw that you see either in the stone itself or in its cut. Most tanzanite has very few, if any, flaws, so a flawed stone rapidly decreases in value. Although only a trained jewelry appraiser in your area can precisely determine how much a flaw decreases a stone's value, the at-home buyer can count on paying less than $400 per carat for stones with flaws.
  4. Compare the color of the tanzanite to the color of deep rich sapphires. The more blue the tanzanite is, the more valuable it is. Tanzanites without any trace of violet in their color can increase in value up to $500 per carat or more. Light blue or lavender tanzanites lose a bit of value and can sell for $400 per carat or less.
  5. Tip

    Compare the prices of tanzanites both locally and on the Internet to find the best value. Compare stones from reputable retailers and ask to see each under a loupe or magnified to judge its quality and cut.

    Warning

    Do not use heat such as a hairdryer or iron when wearing your tanzanite. Do not clean tanzanites in an ultrasonic jewelry cleaner. Because of tanzanite's fragility, treat it with care.

Things You Will Need

  • Jeweler's loupe
  • Jeweler's scale

About the Author

Andrea Lott Haney writes articles and training materials for food industry publications. Having studied foodservice sanitation, nutrition and menu planning at Purdue University, Lott Haney has more than 10 years of experience as a catering and event planner for luxury hotels and currently tours the Midwest as a corporate customer service trainer and consultant.

Photo Credits

  • tanzanite ring image by Julianna Olah from Fotolia.com
  • tanzanite ring image by Julianna Olah from Fotolia.com