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If you are weighing the pros and cons which blue gemstone to choose. Tanzanite and sapphire are two minerals that are the most popular of all blue gemstones, and each has its pros and cons.
Tanzanites and sapphires are very similar in appearance, and without certain knowledge it can be difficult to distinguish them from each other. In fact, tanzanite is often mistaken for sapphire. However, in everything else except color, these two stones are very different from each other.
Let’s take a look at the differences between tanzanite and sapphire and see which stone we think is the best!
Tanzanite vs Sapphire – Origin and History
Sapphire is a very popular gemstone that has been valued and used in jewelry for centuries. He was associated with the upper echelons of society, including members of the royal family and the clergy. Sapphire is only found in a few regions of the world, with some of the most famous sapphire mining locations being Sri Lanka, Burma and Kashmir. Gem-quality blue sapphire is quite rare.
Tanzanite, on the other hand, is a relatively new gemstone. It was discovered relatively recently, in the sixties, and named after the country in which it was found – Tanzania. Tanzanite is extremely rare in nature. Although tanzanite does not have the same long and glamorous history as sapphires, it has quickly established itself as one of the ten best-selling colored gemstones.
This round’s winner: we vote for the sapphire for its long and famous history.
Tanzanite versus sapphire is a rarity
In case you’re wondering, both of these gems are much rarer than diamonds. Gem-quality blue sapphires are rare in nature and are in great demand. However, the natural reserves of sapphires are much larger than those of tanzanite.
Tanzanite is only found in one region of Tanzania (at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro) and is about 1000 times rarer than diamonds! Natural reserves of tanzanite are depleting and are estimated to run out in the next few decades. This is why the stone is referred to as a “geological phenomenon” since the odds of finding another tanzanite mine are roughly 1 million to 1.
This round’s winner: tanzanite, by far, because it’s a “one generation” gemstone.
Tanzanite vs Sapphire – Color
Sapphire is the most famous blue gemstone, so much so that most people don’t even know that it comes in every color of the rainbow (other than red, known as ruby). High quality blue sapphire has a rich deep hue.
The colors of tanzanite are mostly blue and purple. High quality tanzanite can have the same color as sapphires and can be difficult to tell apart. Tanzanite is also a pleochroic gemstone, meaning that it can display different colors depending on the angle it is viewed from, most commonly blue and purple. Bright blue is the best and most valuable color of tanzanite.
The winner of this round is not determined: both have a spectacular color.
Tanzanite vs Sapphire – Hardness and Durability
Sapphire rules here. Sapphire ranks 9th on the Mohs scale and is the third hardest gemstone used in jewelry after diamond and moissanite. It is not easily damaged or scratched and is great for everyday wear. This is part of the appeal of using sapphires in engagement rings.
Tanzanite, on the other hand, is a much softer gemstone, ranking only 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale, making it even softer than quartz. Tanzanite can be easily scratched and damaged, and has poor strength and cleavage, meaning that it can break on impact. For engagement rings, tanzanite is not recommended unless it is secured in a secure place and cared for with the utmost care.
This round winner: Sapphire is superior to Tanzanite as it is harder and stronger.
Tanzanite vs Sapphire – Value and Price
Although tanzanite is less common, blue sapphire is in high demand. Other things being equal, sapphire is much more expensive than tanzanite. It is also often considered a good investment gemstone as the price of colored gemstones rises due to demand. There are synthetic versions of sapphire on the market that are more affordable, but they are not highly valued.
All tanzanite on the market is natural, as the stone has not yet been synthesized. Tanzanite is a great option if you want a sapphire look but not a high price tag. It is also a great collectible due to its rarity and has been called “our generation’s gem investment opportunity”. Prices are predicted to rise significantly once tanzanite is depleted, so getting it while you can seems like a good idea.
This round winner: Tanzanite is more affordable than sapphires and has good investment potential.
Tanzanite vs Sapphire – Status and Reputation
The sapphire has always been associated with the royal family and throughout history it has often been worn by members of the royal family and the clergy. Notably, the world’s most famous engagement ring is Princess Diana’s iconic blue sapphire ring now worn by Kate Middleton. It is the most recognizable blue gemstone and one of the most expensive.
Tanzanite cannot compete with the status of sapphire because it is a recent addition to gemstones. However, it has a reputation for being the most beautiful stone discovered in the last 2,000 years! And because of its rarity, it is becoming more and more famous in the jewelry world as a gemstone to be bought before its sources run dry.
This round winner: Sapphire is more popular and has a higher status than tanzanite in society.
Both sapphires and tanzanites have their own individual charms. The choice of gemstone depends on the reason for your purchase. If durability is a priority, then sapphire is the best choice. It is also more recognized, appreciated and in increasing demand.
Tanzanite is a beautiful and more affordable option, it has very good investment potential but is not as durable as sapphire. As you can see, these are very different stones, and both are attractive in their own way.
Want to add tanzanite or sapphire to your jewelry collection? If you need pink and blue sapphires for different budgets, pay attention to the jewelry presented by us: