Tanzanite vs Sapphire

Tanzanite vs Sapphire

Tanzanite vs Sapphire. Color happens to be the primary factor when it comes to choosing a gemstone.

This is because the color will always win over other parameters as long as the gem will be durable enough for its purpose. One of the well-known gemstone colors that are in demand is the blue sapphires gemstones.

However, this article will be looking at two rare gemstones, which are Tanzanite vs sapphire. Additionally, we’ll be looking at how two stones are very different from each other.


Tanzanite happens to be a type of zoisite, or better still, the name given to the blue-violet version of zoisite.

Note that Zoisite is not extremely rare, but the blue version of Zoisite is. The blue-violet color of Tanzanite can be traced from the amounts of vanadium.

Vanadium is a gem that was brought into popularity by Tiffany & Co. However, the name tanzanite was derived from the only country (Tanzania) where the blue-purple version of the gem was found.


Sapphire happens to be a type of corundum that’s mostly known for its cornflower blue version. This gem can come in any color such as pink, teal, yellow, white, orange, or black.

Note that it is the blue version that has become most famous. Though red is the only color you won’t find for sapphire gems, those are always classified as rubies.

Tanzanite vs Sapphire

Peora Tanzanite with Genuine Diamond Pendant in 14K White Gold, Elegant Teardrop Solitaire, Pear Shape, 10x7mm, 2.30 Carats total
Tanzanite with Genuine Diamond Pendant | Source: Amazon

Tanzanite happens to be rarer than sapphire, but it is more affordable when compared. This is because tanzanite is a softer gem that can easily scratch than sapphire, and it is new to the jewelry market.

However, tanzanite is also eye-clean, and sapphire gem seems to be at least slightly included even after heat treatment.

In body color, tanzanite has slightly more violet, and because the range is very wide, it is always confused with a sapphire except you have one of each to compare.

Tanzanite vs Sapphire Price

For those who don’t know, tanzanite is one of the rarest gems on earth and happens to be one of the most undervalued when compared to its rarity. Due to its scarcity, it is supposed to be a gem to be sold at a high premium price. But with its price per carat ranging between US$300 and US$600, tanzanite is selling for far less than diamonds.

On the other hand, the market price for Sapphires can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $11,000 per carat. However, you’ll be able to find good-quality stones at $450 – $1,200 per carat.

Tanzanite vs Sapphire Color

Gem Stone King 925 Sterling Silver Blue Sapphire and White Diamond 3-Stone Women's Engagement Ring (1.86 Ct Oval) (Size 7)
Sterling Silver Blue Sapphire Ring | Source: Amazon

Sapphire is one of the famous blue gems, and because of its popularity, a lot of people don’t even realize that it comes in every color of the rainbow. Though, it doesn’t come in red, which is sometimes called ruby.

Note that high-quality blue sapphire comes in a rich, deep blue color.

But tanzanite colors are mainly blue and purple. Though the color of top-quality tanzanite gemstones can equal that of sapphires this makes it difficult to tell difference.

The tanzanite happens to be a pleochroic gem, which means that it can display different colors whenever it is viewed from different angles, blue, and violet. But the vivid intense blue is the best and most valuable tanzanite color.

Tanzanite vs Sapphire Value

As you have read, tanzanite is rarer than sapphire. But the blue sapphire is more popular and in high demand.

Also, sapphire is considerably more expensive than the tanzanite gem. The blue sapphire is most times considered a good investment gem, and this is because the prices of colored gemstones increase due to demand.

But note that there are synthetic versions of blue sapphire on the market, which are very affordable, but not valued.

When it comes to value, tanzanite found on the market is natural. This is because the gemstone has not yet been synthesized successfully. This makes tanzanite a better option if you want the sapphire look but at an affordable price tag.

Tanzanite vs Sapphire Engagement Rings

When it comes to making an engagement ring with Tanzanite, at 6-6.5/10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, it’s a bad idea. However, if you’re looking for a Tanzanite engagement ring, then search for the Violet Spinel. It is much harder than Tanzanite and would last longer.

But sapphire, due to its toughness, can be used for engagement rings. This is because sapphires are great gems for everyday use and that’s why jewelry makers go for it. Another thing is that sapphires cannot easily break when struck.

Tanzanite vs Sapphire Difference

Gem Stone King 14K White Gold Natural Genuine Blue Tanzanite Stud Earrings For Women (1.80 Cttw, Gemstone Birthstone, Round 6MM)
Blue Tanzanite Stud Earrings | Source: Amazon

Let’s check out the difference between Tanzanite vs sapphire:

1. Differences Based on Color

The Sapphire gem comes in a variety of colors, such as white, pink, green, etc., but the most popular variant is the blue sapphire. The blue sapphire can display a traditional blue outlook with a deep undertone.

The tanzanite gemstone offers a bluish-purple hue or bluish-violet. Also, it can display different shades of blue whenever it is viewed from different angles.

2. Differences Based on Hardness

Looking at hardness, the sapphire gem is second only to diamond. It ranks 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness, and this means that sapphire is exceptionally hard and strong.

But on the other hand, tanzanite gemstone ranks about 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale, and this makes it a softer gemstone in general. This means that tanzanite won’t be as durable or tough as sapphire.

3. Differences Based on Rarity

The sapphire happens to be relatively abundant while being exceptionally rare per se. However, gem-quality corundum is rare, but the blue sapphire happens to be the most common in this corundum.

The tanzanite gem is among the rarest of gemstones, it is a thousand times rarer than diamonds. It can be found in Northern Tanzania, and it is speculated to be very rare.

Due to its limited availability and high demand, tanzanite has become an extremely valuable gemstone.

4. Differences Based on Clarity

The sapphire gem is prone to having flaws and inclusions, and this is why they are considered a normal feature even in the highest quality of sapphires.

On the other hand, tanzanite doesn’t have flaws and inclusions, even though they are typically invisible to the naked eye. This is what makes tanzanite possess higher clarity than sapphires.

5. Differences Based on Composition

The blue sapphire gemstone is categorized under the mineral corundum. It has a trace of iron, titanium, chromium, magnesium, or vanadium, which are present in its chemical composition.

While tanzanite is categorized under the mineral zoisite and there are some small amounts of vanadium, which gives it the vintage bluish-violet or bluish-purple hue.

6. Differences Based on Symbolism

The blue sapphire is known as the birthstone for September and traditionally represents core values such as integrity, hope, nobility, sincerity, and faithfulness. Also, the gem is associated with royalty and marital bliss.

While tanzanite on the other hand is deeply associated with dignity, wisdom, and truth. Lots of people consider tanzanite to be the crucial element in producing positive energy for an individual.

7. Differences Based on Affordability

The blue sapphires have an illustrious legacy and history which is unmatched by many other gems. This makes blue sapphires to be much more expensive than tanzanite.

While Tanzanite is known to be more expensive than other blue gems such as aquamarine or blue topaz. But they are not as expensive as the blue sapphires.

8. Differences Based on Popularity

The blue sapphire is well-known and popularly associated with aristocracy and royalty for many decades and is among the most popular gems you can find globally.

While Tanzanite isn’t just a super rare blue gem, it happens to be one of the world’s rarest gemstones. However, due to its multitude of bluish hues and supreme clarity, this gem is extremely attractive to the eyes. This makes it popular too.

9. Differences Based on Heat Treatments

Note that almost all sapphires gems are heat-treated just to improve their natural colors. The better clarity and darker color saturation of a heat-treated sapphire are well preferred by most people who want to buy high-quality blue sapphires.

Just like blue sapphires, tanzanite is heat-treated to improve the magnificent blue and violet hues that these gems are famous for. The most interesting thing is that tanzanite is heated so they can look closer like blue sapphires.

10. Differences Based on Maintenance

The Sapphires gem needs high maintenance and care to prevent the gem scratch-free and shimmering at its best. While Tanzanites are easier to maintain and do not need as much care as sapphires do.

How To Tell the Difference Between Sapphire and Tanzanite

Gem Stone King 925 Sterling Silver Blue Sapphire Women Engagement Ring (2.45 Cttw, Emerald Cut 9X7MM) (Size 9)
Blue Sapphire Ring | Source: Amazon

Even though they both have similar colors, there’s one thing tanzanite gemstones can do that a sapphire can’t do. This gem can show purple, blue, and red flashes all in one.

A nice sapphire would show you a blue body with violet flashes, but it won’t show red.

On the other hand, tanzanite will look purple in indoor lighting. This is because it can reflect more red light than sapphire. Whenever tanzanite is taken to outdoor lighting, it will show just as blue as a regular sapphire.


The sapphire gems are probably the first gemstone you think of when you want to buy a blue gemstone. But over the years, a rival has surfaced which is tanzanite.

However, it doesn’t mean that it’s a newly discovered gem. But in the jewel industry, it is a newcomer. Even though both are popular, blue sapphires are more expensive than tanzanite.

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