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Sell With a Story: Tanzanite

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Broader color variations offered from this classic gem

Everyone has a favorite gemstone, whether it’s classic blue, cheeky pink, sunny yellow, or icy white. Sell With a Story is here to help expand those horizons and turn even the most timid gemstone purveyor into a strong-selling, gemstone enthusiast.

This time, I’m going to discuss the mineral zoisite and the variety known in the trade as Tanzanite. Tanzanite, discovered in 1967, has become an all-around favorite. Collectors and passers-by alike fall for the sparkling colors and range of tones.

Sell With a Story Tanzanite 2020

There are a few things that set Tanzanite apart from the saturated “classic blue” crowd.

The beautiful violet cast you get with a rich, bold blue is my favorite. That violet hue can be seen across stones of all sizes and shapes, and it gives them a springtime pop.

The richness of the stone directly determines the value. The deeper and darker the color, the rarer and more valuable the stone. The lighter-colored, lavender-hued Tanzanite is plentiful making them more affordable. Blues, no matter the specific hue, are generally heated to remove the brown impurities in the color. Blues that are natural with no heat are extraordinarily rare, increasing the value even further.

And did you know that the traditional Tanzanite has gorgeous, less well-known cousins? Let me introduce you to green Tanzanite and bi-color Tanzanite.


Green Tanzanite (sometimes called green zoisite) is a natural, unheated version of zoisite with an earthy-green color. When turned just right, green Tanzanite will show the illuminating violet cast that Tanzanite is known for. The greens are even rarer, which you would think would make them more expensive. However, since this beauty is still relatively unmarketed, you can get larger stones with amazing color for a reasonable price.

Tanzanite ranges on the Mohs scale of hardness from a 6 to 7, and green tends to skew to the top of that range.


In the day and age of wanting something unique and entirely personal, bi-color stones fill a void. Bi-color Tanzanite is no exception.

Displaying a captivating show of greens, teals, blues, and violets, bi-color Tanzanite is comparable to a proud peacock strutting its stuff: even if you don’t like the birds, its hard to look away when they start their show. As natural unheated stones that show a range of possibilities, bi-color stones each have a life all their own. Getting a perfectly matched pair is highly unusual and makes embracing the mismatched trend all the more compelling.

If your customer is not fully captivated by the curious colors of Tanzanite, telling them the story will surely win them over.

Named and marketed by Tiffany & Co. just one year after being found in Tanzania, this stone comes from one place on the planet. This small deposit of very old stones, 585 million years to be exact, are mined in an area just 4 square kilometers wide (approximately 1.5 square miles) neighboring Mount Kilimanjaro.

Tanzanite can fill many needs: 

  • As a less expensive version of classic blue,
  • As an unexpected and entirely unique bicolor and
  • As the lively springtime glow that December babies dream about

The captivating beauty, no matter the shade, has helped solidify Tanzanite as “The Stone of the 20th Century.”


Shop Tanzanite Notable Gems™ here.


Sam Larson

Former Director of Gemstones