September 2016 Newsletter: Tanzanite Prices and Value


It is fair to say that Tanzanite, the vivid violet-blue gemstone from East Africa, is one of the great modern success stories in colored stones. Discovered just in 1967 in Tanzania, it was named and promoted by Tiffany & Co., who described it as "the loveliest blue gemstone discovered in over 2,000 years." To this we would add that it is also one of the best values in the world of colored stones.

We say that because a saturated and vivid blue is actually one of the rarest hues in the gem world, nearly as rare as a pure red. Until the discovery of tanzanite, sapphire was really the only gemstone found in a richly saturated blue -- aquamarine and blue zircon were a light to medium blue, while blue spinel tended towards a greyish-blue.

When you compare tanzanite to blue sapphire, you'll find that some top grade tanzanite has color that rivals not only high quality sapphire, but the very finest sapphire you can find, colors that sell for many thousands of dollars per carat. Tanzanite also tends to be exceptionally clean, with many high grade stones loupe clean or almost loupe clean.

If that were not enough, tanzanite can also be found in larger sizes. Blue sapphire is rare and expensive over 2 carats and good quality sapphires over 5 carats are extremely expensive. Tanzanite, by contrast, is quite easy to find in the 4 to 6 carat size, and even gems over 10 carats are not unknown. 

In defense of sapphire, it is certainly a harder and rarer gem, and market prices reflect this. But while sapphire is exceptionally hard (9 on the Mohs scale), tanzanite is still hard enough (6.5 to 7) for ring settings, particularly rings which are not worn daily.

In its 45 year history, Tanzanite prices have fluctuated, due to variable supply and inconsistent promotion. But Tanzanite mining and distribution has slowly become more professional and in recent years prices have been stable.

At Bangkok direct prices from AJS Gems you can expect to pay in the range of $500 to $800 a carat for top color Tanzanite in the 4 to 9 carat size. You are unlikely to find lower prices on fine Tanzanite from any source, unless you are buying the rough stone and cutting it yourself. 

Prices for very fine unheated fancy color tanzanites, such as the rare pinks and purples, can easily run 2 to 4 times higher than the blues, particularly for vivid colors in stones over 1 carat.

See our collection of Fine Tanzanite



Notable Gems from the AJS Collection

This month we feature some some outstanding recent acquisitions, including a 4.47 hot pink Rubellite and a top 10.92 ct Tanzanite.

Click on a photo to see the details for the item.

4.47 ct Rubellite Tourmaline, Mozambique
4.47 ct Rubellite Tourmaline from Mozambique [SOLD]
An awesome hot pink-red Rubellite from Mozambique. This gem has simply amazing color, with an intensity that you can see across the room. Beautifully cut, this rare gem will make a fabulous piece of jewelry. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

7.53 ct Blue Zircon, Cambodia

A very fine medium-blue zircon with excellent fire. Very clean and well-cut, this beautiful gem will sparkle in your jewelry design. Guaranteed natural.
2.73 ct Spessartite Garnet Matched Pair from Nigeria
2.73 ct Spessartite Garnet Matched Pair from Nigeria  [SOLD]

A splendid matched pair of spessartite garnets in the top mandarin orange color. These are very clean pieces, expertly cut and beautifully matched, perfect for sparkly stud earrings. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

9.20 ct Chrysoprase from Australia

9.20 ct Chrysoprase from Australia [SOLD]

A top grade gem chyrsoprase from Australia with a delicious apple-green color and excellent translucency. This gem displays the wonderful luminosity that is characteristic of the very best chrysoprase. The round shape is hard to find and will set up beautifully in a ring or pendant. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

15.10 ct Pink Tanzanite Crystal, Tanzania

A stunning double tanzanite crystal in a vivid pink! Pink is the rarest color in tanzanite and this gemmy crystal displays an intense pink, especially from the top and sides. This crystal displays two well-defined terminations with clean faces and a vitreous luster. From the Merelani mine in Arusha, Tanzania, this beautiful pink tanzanite is a very collectible piece. Guaranteed natural and untreated.

10.92 ct Tanzanite from Tanzania

10.92 ct Tanzanite from Tanzania  [SOLD]

A superb large tanzanite in a saturated blue that rivals the finest sapphire! Nearly 11 carats, this gorgeous gem just bursts with vivid color. Completely clean and and perfectly cut in a classic cushion, this extraordinary gem will set up beautifully in your jewelry design. Guaranteed natural.

News from AJS and the Gems World

  • Gold and Gems Pile Up in Singapore Vault as Investors Seek Safe Haven

In a story in Bloomberg last week, the stash of gold, silver and gems stored in the vaults and safe deposit boxes of Malca-Amit in Singapore has jumped almost 90 percent in the past year as wealthy investors seek a refuge in a world of negative interest rates, stagnating economies and political uncertainty. "We’re seeing a trend where high net-worth individuals are looking to diversify their portfolio into tangible assets like precious metals, precious stones," said a Malca-Amit spokesperson. "This is mostly to preserve and protect their wealth. They’re looking into places like Hong Kong and Singapore as places they deem to be safe."


  • September Promotion: Special Prices on Selected Gems

This month we have a new selection of gems from our regular collection offered at special prices. Take advantage of this opportunity to buy a fine gem of AJS quality at a very attractive price!



Ask the Gem Experts

Each month we answer questions from our customers. We welcome your questions and you can submit a question from our contact page.

What is the color called padparadscha? What gems come in this color? Thanks for your help, BL, USA

The term padparadscha refers specifically to the natural pink-orange color of some sapphires. But similar colors can sometimes be found in spinel, tourmaline morganite and malaia garnet. So if you love the delicate pink-orange color, it is possible to find it in other gem varieties.

See our collection of Padparadscha Sapphires


When I order a gem will the order be insured? How can I track an order sent to me? SJ, Singapore

All of our shipments are insured for the full value of the gems, regardless of the shipping method you use. FedEx shipments can be tracked online at, while registered mail shipments can be tracked online at Thailand Post until they leave Thailand, then by your local post office when they arrive in the destination country. We recommend FedEx shipping for valuable gems.




All the best in gems,

Arnold, Rung & Ron