Tanzanite and sapphire have changed the way we perceive the color blue. Every time we see this color or hear about it, we think of either of the two gemstones. It’s because of the beauty and captivating character of these two gemstones. And as blue is the color that evokes feelings of calmness and serenity, both tanzanites and sapphires are hugely coveted around the world. But out of tanzanite and sapphire, which gemstone would, you choose for your engagement ring? If you’re stuck to this question, you should read this article in its entirety to find the answer. Now, let’s first learn about the brief history and lore of sapphires and tanzanites.
The first thing that comes to mind when we think of sapphires is their connection with the aristocrats. Sapphires have always been associated with royalty, especially after the year 1981 when Britain’s Prince Charles gave a sapphire engagement ring to Lady Diana. The history and lore of this gemstone know no bounds. The monarchs in ancient Greece and Rome believed that the celestial blue gems protected their owners from envy and harm. During the middle ages, people used to think of sapphires as gemstones that attracted heavenly blessings. In the present time, people love and admire sapphires for their alluring shimmer, physical properties, and amazing astrological benefits.
Due to their relatively young discovery in the year 1967, tanzanites don’t have much of a historical presence. The only historical event associated with this gemstone is related to its discovery. Tanzanite was discovered by a Masai tribesman in the Merelani hills in northern Tanzania. The tribesman found intense violet-to-blue crystals and alerted a local fortune hunter who thought that the gemstones were sapphires. Later, Tiffany & Company named the gemstone after the country it was found in and became the gemstone’s main distributor. Tanzanite was first promoted by the company in the year 1968 in a publicity campaign that resulted in jewelry designers and gemstone professionals going dumbfounded and singing the praises of the gemstone.
While tanzanites only come in lush blue, vibrant violet, and vivid purple colors, sapphires have wide-ranging color varieties like pink, blue, orange, green, etc. The only color that’s not associated with sapphires is red. It’s because the red color identifies ruby, the sister gemstone of sapphire. Tanzanite does lack a vast array of color varieties like sapphire but endows very strong pleochroism, an optical phenomenon found only in a few gemstones. Pleochroic gems show different colors when viewed at different angles in diverse lighting conditions. If you were thinking of choosing a tanzanite engagement ring, here’s a beautiful reason to empower your decision.
Hardness & Durability
Tanzanite ranks a 7 out of 10 on the Mohs scale of hardness. While the gemstone’s ranking on the Mohs scale might make you think otherwise, tanzanite is durable enough to be worn in low-contact jewelry pieces. If you’re still looking to buy a tanzanite engagement ring, I’d support your choice. But, if you want to choose a gemstone for your engagement ring based on durability and hardness, I’d suggest you sapphire. Sapphires score 9 on the Mohs scale of hardness and are only second to diamonds that strike a 10. This royal blue gemstone is indeed way ahead of tanzanites when it comes to sturdiness.
As far as rarity is concerned, no gemstone equals the level of tanzanites. The gemstone is only found in Tanzania, in a small mining area, 7 kilometers long and 2 kilometers wide. It’s the reason why tanzanite is regarded a thousand times rarer than diamond. On top of that, tanzanites could go extinct. Tanzanites were formed due to a peculiar set of conditions involving humongous plate tectonic activity and immense heat. And as per a local Tanzanian gemologist, the chances of such natural conditions occurring again would only be a twist of fate. So, tanzanites could actually go extinct. On the other hand, sapphires are also rare in nature, but in no way can they compete with the rarity of tanzanites. So, a tanzanite engagement ring is your best bet if your rare self likes rare possessions.
There’s no doubt in saying that tanzanite is rarer than sapphire, still the latter is more expensive. Yes, you heard that right. The widespread popularity and exceptional durability of sapphire account for its great value. On the contrary, tanzanite’s lesser-known status and recent discovery fail to do justice to its worth for the nonce. However, the rapidly increasing popularity of tanzanites indicates that the gemstone might soon get reasonably valued. So, if you’re looking to buy tanzanite, now is the right time.
Tanzanite and sapphire, both gemstones are extraordinarily beautiful and a perfect choice to be set in an engagement ring. While tanzanites offer the utmost rarity and are less expensive for the time being, sapphires provide superb durability and numerous color options. Weigh up the aforementioned points to better land on a conclusion. You can get your tanzanite engagement ring or sapphire ring in your favorite color from GemsNY, a dealer with decades of experience and vaunted prestige. The choice is yours, and there are no rules.
Iskra Banović is our seasoned Editor-in-Chief at BlueFashion. She has been steering the website’s content and editorial direction since 2018. With a rich background in fashion design, Iskra’s expertise spans across fashion, interior design, beauty, lifestyle, travel, and culture.