Tanzanite – Color, Clarity, Cut & Carat – A Guide
When you’re shopping for tanzanite rings, you should pay attention first to the first four criteria for gemstones: color, clarity, cut & carat. In this article, we at Tanzanite Rings HQ go over each.
The most important aspect of tanzanite is its color, or at least this criterion is often considered the most important in determining tanzanite quality. In most accounts, the deeper the color, the higher quality the gem. So a gemstone that exhibits a deep indigo or dark blue in color is considered higher quality than one that shows pale blues or violets. Yet because tanzanite is also a tricolor gem, be aware that the colors of the stone do change depending on the quality and intensity of the surrounding light.
A stone can appear in various shades of blue in one orientation, then switch to purple or red in another. Generally, the blue hue is brighter under fluorescent lights, while the purples shine brighter under incandescent light.
Clarity in tanzanite, and in most gemstones, is judged on the amount of inclusions apparent to the visible eye within the gemstone. Tanzanite is classified as a Type 1 gemstone, which means that the highest quality tanzanite can be “eye clean,” which means that no inclusions can be found, even with the assistance of a jeweler’s loupe. Tanzanite is also known to have an intense luster and shine.
To identify low quality tanzanite, you can search for visible markings or material stuck within the stone. Any of these inclusions can cause the stone to become murky or opaque, and decreases the quality—and thus the asking price—dramatically.
Cutting standards for tanzanite are of particular importance, even when you search on large online retailers who say they offer conflict-free tanzanite jewelry. That is because all tanzanite jewelry must be cut while it still remains within Tanzania, and any jeweler who touts that it cuts its tanzanite from rough stone probably deals with smuggled or black market tanzanite. The law that made it illegal to cut tanzanite overseas was passed to promote in-country jewelry jobs and provide the people of tanzanite with more opportunities to benefit from this growing industry.
As cuts in general go, a well-cut tanzanite gemstone should be symmetrical in all directions, and cushion and oval cuts are among the most popular for this brilliant blue stone.
Carat in tanzanite of course depends on how much you’re willing to spend, and what type of jewelry piece you’re looking to purchase. If you love bulky, large tanzanite pendants, or rather you prefer small stone tanzanite engagement rings, the carat of tanzanite is often one of the less important factors in your choice. The only aspect we think to consider with carat is to note that in tanzanite, a larger carat (typically over 2 carats) often exhibits the deepest colors and finest hues for this particular gemstone, so if you’re looking for higher quality tanzanite and have the money to spend, you could consider purchasing a larger carat piece.
However, whatever you decide, this is how you can judge the four important C’s of tanzanite jewelry: color, cut, clarity, and carat.