Tanzanite and blue diamonds are two of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. Both gems have a rich history, and their popularity has grown over time due to their beautiful colors and durability. Tanzanite is among the rarest gemstones available, while blue diamonds are the rarest of all diamond varieties. It is essential to consider both of these stones when deciding which one to purchase, as they each have unique features that make them attractive.
A Brief History of Tanzanite
Tanzanite, first discovered in 1967 in Tanzania’s Merelani Hills, is a relatively young gemstone in the grand scheme of things. Its name reflects where it was found, and its unique blue-violet hue has made it one of the most popular gems for modern jewelry. Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral zoisite found only in one place on Earth – near the base of Mt Kilimanjaro.
The gemstone was first presented to the world by Tiffany & Company at the 1968 Paris Exhibition, which named it Tanzanite after its place of origin and immediately began marketing around this discovery. The stone caught on quickly due to its rarity, beautiful color, and affordability compared to other colored stones such as sapphire or emerald. In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association chose tanzanite as a December birthstone, the first change to their birthstone list since 1912.
A Brief History of Blue Diamonds
One of the earliest mentioned blue diamonds is the Hope Diamond, believed to have been discovered in India but whose first recorded presence was in 1666 by French gem merchant Jean-Baptiste Tavernier, after whom it was called the Tavernier Blue. Its last owner was famed jeweler Harry Winston before he donated it to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.
Like any other diamond, blue diamonds are elements of carbon fused due to intense heat and pressure over millions of years. They are colored blue by trace amounts of boron that contaminate the crystalline lattice structure. Nitrogen plays a vital role in determining the intensity of the blue! The diamond’s tone will be much richer if a low nitrogen content gets mixed with high boron levels. Blue diamonds belong to a subcategory called fancy color diamonds – the generic name for diamonds that exhibit intense color.
Tanzanite vs Diamond: Color and Clarity
The differences are pretty remarkable when comparing tanzanite and blue diamond for color and clarity. One of the most striking differences between the two is their appearance. Ultimately both gems possess unique qualities that make them desirable for many reasons.
Tanzanite has a brilliant violet-blue color that sparkles in the light, while Blue Diamonds appear as deep blue gems with slightly darker tones. Color intensity can vary from stone to stone, but both gemstones appear very vivid.
In terms of clarity, diamonds are generally much clearer than tanzanite. Diamonds will have fewer flaws or blemishes, giving them a transparent look compared to the deeper hue of tanzanite stones. While some tanzanite may have internal flaws called “silk” that can reduce their transparency, diamonds are often eye clean and free from visible imperfections.
Tanzanite vs Diamond: Hardness on the Mohs scale
The Mohs scale is the standard measure for comparing mineral hardness: It is a qualitative ordinal scale characterizing the scratch resistance from 1 to 10. Tanzanite rates 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale, making it a relatively hard stone compared to other gemstones but still softer than diamonds and sapphires.
Blue diamonds rate 10 on the Mohs scale and are one of the hardest substances known to man. They are ideal for use in rings or jewelry that may be exposed to knocks or scrapes over time, as they will not scratch easily and retain their shine for longer than relatively softer gemstones.
Tanzanite vs Diamond: Which one to opt for when shopping for jewelry?
Both stones offer a sophisticated, timeless look, making them perfect for any occasion. So, it can take time to decide which gemstone best fits you.
Tanzanite is a relatively new gemstone with a strong pleochroism, meaning it changes color depending on how it is viewed: deep blue-violet to sapphire-blue. Tanzanite has become very popular due to its unique color, affordability, and rarity.
Blue diamonds have been around for centuries and are some of the rarest types of precious stones out there today. They are highly sought-after and valuable, making them the most expensive option of the two gems.
Both gemstones have beautiful qualities that make them worthy of the spotlight. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide which gem you prefer. Tanzanite has a competitive edge in price, while Blue Diamonds are considered more luxurious and rare. No matter what stone you choose, both are sure to bring a sense of elegance and sparkle to any piece of jewelry.
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