Tanzanite vs diamond. There are so many gemstones out there and it’s difficult to understand the differences and intricacies between each gem. With tanzanite vs diamonds, both are beautiful, but which is a good investment for jewelry?
Today we’re discussing all the details between these two crystals.
Tanzanite vs Diamond
Tanzanite and diamonds began as minerals in solid to vapor form subjected to intense heat and pressure over long periods of time. Technically, tanzanite is a form of the sorosilicate mineral, zoisite and it was formed about 600 million years ago.
Diamonds began as pure carbon vapor from earth’s magma and are almost as old as the earth itself. While diamonds are precious gemstones, tanzanites are semi-precious gemstones.
However, the term ‘gemstone’ doesn’t mean they’re rocks. Rather, they are crystals, a mix of atoms, ions, and molecules of one or more minerals arranged in regular and repeating order that have reflective properties.
Overall, tanzanite and diamonds look totally different.
Tanzanite’s defining trait is its’ incredibly variety of colors, from brilliant blue to striking purple. Diamonds, on the other hand, can come in pink or yellow, but those are quite rare and the standard is usually the traditional white or transparent crystal.
Regardless of their differences, both crystals have been coveted parts of jewelry pieces throughout history. However, there are a lot of different factors that come into play when pitting either crystal against the other.
Tanzanite vs Diamond Value
Tanzanite has been designated as a semi-precious stone, but diamonds are perceived as more valuable because they’re considered “precious”.
Yet, tanzanite is rarer and thus more valuable in the long run. Particularly, experts believe that within the next 2 decades, Tanzanites will have been completely mined-out and consequently, their value will greatly increase.
Value has been assigned in other ways. Humans have mined diamonds for nearly 6 thousand years, using them as tools and for healing in India, Sumeria, and China.
It wasn’t until relatively about 2300 years ago, that humans revered and adorned themselves with diamonds and gave them religious significance, as evidenced in the human record in India. Value can also be a matter of sentiment, taste, and fashion.
Beauty, color, size, cut, clarity and weight in carats also increase the desirability of gems and Tanzanite has blues to rival sapphire and blue diamonds.
Value is a matter of perception as is the case with diamonds, which have enjoyed great advertising campaigns by the diamond company, De Beers since 1948.
The effect of their efforts can’t be underestimated, but while “diamonds are forever,” Tanzanite, the rarer gem, has yet to garner its own song. However, Tanzanite has historically been valued for its rarity and its physical healing purposes.
Tanzanite vs Diamond Price
Tanzanite runs from $425-$600, while diamonds range from $3,000-$6,000. It helps to know how gem quality is determined and impacts the pricing of tanzanite and diamonds.
One important means for establishing a gem’s quality is called the ‘4Cs’: color, clarity, carat, and cut. A gem’s color should exemplify the best color for which the gem is known and for tanzanite, that color is a deep royal blue and, to a lesser degree, deep blue-violet.
A quality colorless diamond appears white and gray and refracts the colors of a rainbow. The crystal should be clear, not cloudy, and without impurities.
There are many color grading systems, but The Gemological Institute of America’s (GIA) systems are considered the “gold standard” of valuation for many gems, including tanzanite.
Because of tanzanite‘s density, it is important that the pavilion, the part of the gem on the bottom, as opposed to the table or top, and the crown, the faceted and angled part surrounding the table, should be cut with a point or cullet.
It should not bulge or have a flat bottom or there will be a “window” where there is an obvious reduction in the intensity of color and lack of reflection.
Some gem stores cut the pavilion too wide and too deep, or they cut a flat bottom pavilion to the cone to keep a large table or weight in order to increase the price. Also, round-cut tanzanite or diamond will also be higher in cost than a princess cut or cushion cut as they will have fewer facets.
The more facets there are, the greater the price.
Tanzanite vs Diamond Hardness
Tanzanite and most gems are softer than diamonds. diamonds have long been used to grind and cut hard materials.
As mentioned above, people in China use diamonds in such a way. Crystal hardness goes hand in hand with durability and that hardness is measured in ‘Mohs.’
Invented by Friedrich Mohs in 1812, the Mohs Scale tests the hardness of the material in this case a mineral, by scratching one mineral with another with a specific force and its hardness is then determined by the measure of the force and the depth of the scratch-made.
Diamonds are a 10 value on the Mohs scale, the hardest assigned value, but tanzanite is a value of 6.5 Mohs, a fairly soft gem and thus subject to scratches and divots if not worn with care.
Tanzanite vs Diamond Engagement Rings
A must-have for European nobility, diamond engagement rings have been the desired choice since 1477.
The Austrian Archduke Maximillian is credited with starting this fashion after having a diamond ring created for Marie of Burgundy, his bride-to-be, but it’s not for this reason alone that diamonds have prevailed as the perennial favorite for engagement rings.
It is precisely because of diamonds’ durability, and their hardness, that the trend continues. They can stand up to day to day wearing. Tanzanite makes a beautiful and arresting engagement or wedding ring, but they must be worn with care given their softness.
A good alternative for anyone seeking a tanzanite engagement ring because of its unique hue should check out Violet Spinel, another gem that’s much harder, but still has a similar appearance to tanzanite.
Is Tanzanite More Expensive Than Diamonds?
Typically, diamonds are always more expensive than tanzanite, partially because of the marketing, but also because of a diamond’s longevity. Comparing a good quality 1 carat round cut tanzanite with an equivalent brilliant-cut diamond by price, the tanzanite will be around $425 to $600 and the diamond, $3,000 to $6,000.
As discussed, there are many facets to the price differences between these gems. Tanzanite is a dense gem and 1 carat of similarly round-cut tanzanite and diamond will yield smaller tanzanite (6 mm) than a diamond (6.5 mm).
It should be noted though that jewelers often overcharged for either stone, so you can easily find yourself confused and misled by the pricing if you don’t do research beforehand.
What is a Tanzanite Diamond?
Diamonds are pure crystallized carbon, whereas tanzanite is another mineral entirely, as previously mentioned in this article. That said, tanzanite is rare and is far rarer than diamonds.
The royal blue to violet translucence is of high quality. Tanzanite is stunning and will rapidly become rarer until it can no longer be mined.
Why are GIA Diamonds More Expensive?
GIA has set very high standards and has earned respect among gemologists and the gemology industry around the world. GIA labs’ grading system is reputed to be very strict in their grading of diamonds. They have a record of consistency in their grading as well.
There are many other grading labs but they simply do not hold the degree of regard that GIA does. The GIA certificate, though expensive, is reliable and can make your crystal, in this case, a diamond, all the more valuable.
Tanzanite Rarity Compared to Diamonds
Diamonds are found in Africa, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, India, and Russia. Tanzanite, on the other hand, is sourced only in the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro in northern Tanzania within an 8-mile square area.
Unlike diamonds, which have been mined for centuries, tanzanite is expected to be gone in about 20 to 25 years.
Although diamonds are also expected to be mined out in a quarter of a century, too, there will ultimately still be far fewer beautiful blue and violet gems than diamonds, making tanzanites rarer overall.
Is Tanzanite Too Soft for a Ring?
Tanzanite isn’t too soft for a ring, but shouldn’t be worn while performing tasks that would expose them to harsh soap, chemicals, long periods in intense heat, or situations where they can be knocked.
Tanzanite is a soft gem-6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale (the scale ranges from 1 (very soft) to 10 (very hard) which means they are susceptible to scratches. That said, they can be polished.
In addition, tanzanite has perfect cleavage, yes you read that correctly! This means that the crystal is so well ordered, that it will break along a clean line. So, if the gem is struck hard or with a sharp object, it could break.
Investing in jewelry begins as a choice of beauty, but the rarity makes it a consideration of value and price. This is the case with tanzanite vs diamonds. Whichever gem you pick will depend on your own tastes and preferences.
Both have value, but the choice is ultimately about what suits you best, provided you consider the pros and cons of each crystal.