Why Is Tanzanite Worth Collecting?

Those who appreciate fine jewelry know that gemstones can be found in a rainbow of different colors. Some, while beautiful, are widely available and therefore inexpensive, even in larger sizes. Others are extremely rare and costly. The law of supply and demand dictates that stones that are both attractive and scarce will be more pricey, because there simply won’t be enough to go around for everyone who wants one. Somehow, however, that rule has not yet caught up to tanzanite, one of the premier gemological finds of the twentieth century.

Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 in the Mererani foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Named for the country of its origin by Tiffany & Co., who recognized the commercial potential of the find, tanzanite has a similar hardness to emeralds (without that stone’s brittleness) and is a thousand times rarer than diamonds. Experts believe that the geologic conditions that formed tanzanite in the roughly four-square kilometer area where it is found are unlikely to be duplicated anywhere else on earth. This means that when this source is completely mined, collectors will lose the ability to buy tanzanite on the primary market. While there is disagreement on when this will occur, even optimists concede it will happen within the current generation.

The properties of tanzanite caused by its unusual geological origins are an important part of its beauty. The blue-violet stone exhibits pleochroism, which means that an individual stone will show different colors depending on the direction from which it is viewed. A fine tanzanite will show flashes of blue, violet, and burgundy. As with most colored stones, saturated color and superior clarity considerably increase the value of tanzanite.

Given its unusual characteristics and rarity, you would expect tanzanite to easily surpass diamonds in price. In the short time it has been available, it has already become the second-most popular blue gemstone, behind only sapphires. Currently, though, even top-quality tanzanite in sizes of 3 carats or more is only around $750 per carat, whereas a one-carat diamond will fetch thousands of dollars, and larger high-quality diamonds can be tens of thousands of dollars per carat. This means that the price of tanzanite does not truly reflect the reality of either its relative scarcity or the imminent disappearance of its source.

While it may be easy for interested buyers to find attractively priced tanzanite at the moment, that won’t always be the case. With the supply of unmined tanzanite decreasing and the Tanzanian government enacting tighter controls over what remains, tanzanite prices are already showing signs of going up. Collectors can expect that the tanzanite they own will increase in value over time, as the inevitable tightening of supply occurs. If they have not yet obtained this lovely stone, time is running out for buying one at artificially low prices.

At Auction King, our selection of tanzanite rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings is constantly updated with new and beautiful finds. Our live online auction gives our bidders the opportunity to purchase independently appraised fine jewelry at a fraction of retail prices, all from the convenience and comfort of their own homes. Register today for a free online account to start bidding and start winning!

Those who appreciate fine jewelry know that gemstones can be found in a rainbow of different colors. Some, while beautiful, are widely available and therefore inexpensive, even in larger sizes. Others are extremely rare and costly. The law of supply and demand dictates that stones that are both attractive and scarce will be more pricey, because there simply won’t be enough to go around for everyone who wants one. Somehow, however, that rule has not yet caught up to tanzanite, one of the premier gemological finds of the twentieth century.

Tanzanite was discovered in 1967 in the Mererani foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro. Named for the country of its origin by Tiffany & Co., who recognized the commercial potential of the find, tanzanite has a similar hardness to emeralds (without that stone’s brittleness) and is a thousand times rarer than diamonds. Experts believe that the geologic conditions that formed tanzanite in the roughly four-square kilometer area where it is found are unlikely to be duplicated anywhere else on earth. This means that when this source is completely mined, collectors will lose the ability to buy tanzanite on the primary market. While there is disagreement on when this will occur, even optimists concede it will happen within the current generation.

The properties of tanzanite caused by its unusual geological origins are an important part of its beauty. The blue-violet stone exhibits pleochroism, which means that an individual stone will show different colors depending on the direction from which it is viewed. A fine tanzanite will show flashes of blue, violet, and burgundy. As with most colored stones, saturated color and superior clarity considerably increase the value of tanzanite.

Given its unusual characteristics and rarity, you would expect tanzanite to easily surpass diamonds in price. In the short time it has been available, it has already become the second-most popular blue gemstone, behind only sapphires. Currently, though, even top-quality tanzanite in sizes of 3 carats or more is only around $750 per carat, whereas a one-carat diamond will fetch thousands of dollars, and larger high-quality diamonds can be tens of thousands of dollars per carat. This means that the price of tanzanite does not truly reflect the reality of either its relative scarcity or the imminent disappearance of its source.

While it may be easy for interested buyers to find attractively priced tanzanite at the moment, that won’t always be the case. With the supply of unmined tanzanite decreasing and the Tanzanian government enacting tighter controls over what remains, tanzanite prices are already showing signs of going up. Collectors can expect that the tanzanite they own will increase in value over time, as the inevitable tightening of supply occurs. If they have not yet obtained this lovely stone, time is running out for buying one at artificially low prices.

At Auction King, our selection of tanzanite rings, pendants, necklaces, bracelets, and earrings is constantly updated with new and beautiful finds. Our live online auction gives our bidders the opportunity to purchase independently appraised fine jewelry at a fraction of retail prices, all from the convenience and comfort of their own homes. Register today for a free online account to start bidding and start winning!

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