Tanzanite Vs. Diamonds: What’s the Difference?

The sparkle of rare stones is something most of us are easily fascinated by. Diamonds make it to the top of the list of rare gems found in nature. But one more stone is found in the interior mines of Africa that can easily outweigh diamonds in their rarity and brilliance. 

In this article, I’ll tell you about Tanzanite: the rare blue gemstone that has been turning heads in the jewelry industry since its discovery. Read on to find out more.

Tanzanite Vs. Diamonds What's the Difference

What Is Tanzanite?

About 50 years ago, a blue stone resembling a diamond was found in the area surrounding Mount Kilimanjaro in Eastern Africa’s Tanzania. The vibrant blue-violet, purple and indigo colors of this stone caught the eyes of diamond merchants and jewelers all over the world. 

Even after multiple explorations, the stone could not be found anywhere but in Tanzania, giving it the name ‘Tanzanite.’

The structure and appearance of Tanzanite often cause people to mistake it for a blue-colored diamond. However, this stone is distinct from diamond in terms of its chemical composition, making it rarer in nature.

Today, the gem is considered one of the rarest gems in the world but is comparatively undervalued. 

Tanzanite Vs. Diamond: Comparison

There are a lot of factors that have to be considered when comparing two gemstones. This includes their composition, styles, and colors, which become the main parameters for how they are priced. I’ll cover these differences below.


Tanzanite is a trichroic stone, a variety of zoisites composed of calcium, aluminum, silica oxide, and hydroxide. It is a naturally occurring stone with an inorganic composition of calcium aluminum hydroxy silicate. 

Diamonds are composed of a single element, which is Carbon. The high temperatures and pressure beneath the earth give the Carbon atoms of a diamond their crystal structure. These are chemically pure gems that change colors only with changes in temperatures.  

Colors and Sparkle

Tanzanite has a wide range of colors depending on how much light the stone reflects. But all these colors have the base color of blue. Some of the most valued Tanzanites of the world range from pure blue to purple, indigo, and blue-purple, which gives it a similar look to sapphires.

The rocks do not always show their natural color and are heat-treated after mining to reveal their original colors. The more intense the color is the higher its value. 

Diamonds, on the other hand, are either colorless or with naturally occurring colors when mined. Colorless diamonds have a natural sparkle and are some of the highest-valued gems in the world. There are multiple colors in diamonds, like yellow, blue, pink, and red, which are the rarest. Diamonds are certainly more reflective and have more sparkle.


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Tanzanite is a soft stone that is not very effective in anything other than jewelry. The craftsmanship with this stone is extremely tricky and is done by professionals. 

Diamonds, on the other hand, are the hardest substance known to humans. These gemstones are so strong that they are used in heavy machinery for cutting things. They are also good conductors of electricity, which is why they have a lot of use in the electrical industry. 


The Mohr’s hardness scale puts Tanzanite in the 6 to 7 range and diamonds at 10. Tanzanite is much easier to scratch and fairly delicate when compared to diamonds. Tanzanite is also very sensitive to temperature changes and thermal shocks. 


At present, there are an estimated 50 viable diamond mines worldwide. But many of these mines have been inactive for over a decade due to a lack of investments and innovation. 

Tanzanite, on the other hand, has only one area in the world available for mining, which is the 20 square kilometers around Mount Kilimanjaro. This makes it one of the rarest gemstones in the world. 


In spite of their rarity, Tanzanite is less expensive than diamonds per carat. The price of Tanzanite range between $300 and $600 per carat. 

The starting range of diamonds per carat can be between $1,300 to $1,600. The jewelry industry often sets the standard international price. 

Related article: What Is The Most Expensive Color Of Diamond?

Why Is Tanzanite Special?

If you are trying to tell the difference between a diamond and Tanzanite without professional help, you will probably not succeed. However, on close and careful inspection, it has been found that the two gemstones are, in fact, completely different from each other. 

The main difference between the two gemstones is their real-world applications. Tanzanite has no industrial use, unlike diamonds. This is one reason why they are less expensive than diamonds, despite being incredibly rare. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tanzanite Better Than Diamonds?

If you consider the international value of gemstones, diamonds have the highest value. Tanzanite will be far below on the list of rare stones, even though it is much rarer. 

This is mainly because of the brilliance and sparkle of diamonds and of course, the history and legacy of these gemstones being used over the ages. 

What Is More Valuable, Diamond Or Tanzanite?

Diamonds are the more valuable gemstone when compared with tanzanite. Because of its soft nature, tanzanite does not have many industrial uses. 

The hardness and brilliance of diamonds make them the better option for many industries. 

Why Is Tanzanite So Cheap?

The rarity of Tanzanite and the stunted growth of mining in Tanzania makes this gem cheaper in the international market. 

Tanzanite is available for as low as $100, based on the stone’s quality. Many gemologists believe that the inability to market Tanzanite is a huge missed opportunity for the country.

Can Tanzanite Be Faked?

Yes, there are several imitations of the tanzanite available. These can easily be recognized by their refractive qualities. Some common variants are Cubic Zirconia, Synthetic Spinel, and colored glass. 


The situation of the Tanzanite industry is not very encouraging compared to the diamond industry. Despite being incredibly rare and unique, the stone’s usage has made it less valuable worldwide. 

However, this does not take anything from the beauty of this amazing stone!

Related articles:
Diamond Looks Blue In Sunlight: The Mysterious Blue Glow
White Sapphires vs Diamonds – A Comprehensive Comparison
Diamonds Vs. Emeralds: What’s the Difference


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James Allen is our most recommended online jeweler that guarantees a wonderful online shopping experience. You will find the most beautiful and best quality diamonds available for very competitive prices.

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