How to Determine the Value of Tanzanite

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Set tanzanite in a special-occasion ring to avoid damaging it with daily wear.
Set tanzanite in a special-occasion ring to avoid damaging it with daily wear. (Image: tanzanite ring image by Julianna Olah from Fotolia.com)

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.

Things You'll Need

  • Jeweler's loupe
  • Jeweler's scale

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.

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.

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.

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.

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