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What Color is Tanzanite

by Steve Moriarty August 27, 2019

In the video below Steve Moriarty discusses the different colors of Tanzanite. No color chart needed here. Steve Moriarty will tell you all the different colors of Tanzanite. Thought it was only blue or purple? Then you need to watch this interesting video below.

Video Transcription

Hi, I'm Steve Moriarty from And we're also a jeweler on the Square in Crown Point, Indiana, known as Moriarty's Gem Art.

Today, I'd like to discuss with you some of the colors of Tanzanite. They do come in a wide variety of colors, most people aren't aware of this. We sometimes call them by their color name and call them like, "Pink Tanzanite." But some people say it's more appropriate to call it Pink Zoisite. But we generally use the term Tanzanite because it comes out of the same mines. It's not the blue purple variety but they're really unique colors. And other than that, I don't know a whole heck of a lot about them. I don't know whether they're heated or not. I just know they're pretty stones and they're really unique.

My first experience ... Well, it wouldn't be my first experience. My last trip to Tanzania was the first time I'd seen many of these colors available and in such a wide array, and a wide variety. Up to that time they'd been exceedingly rare. pink Tanzanite was just, almost impossible to get and on my trip in 2014 there were several stones available and it was just unusual to see. I thought I'd hit the mother load and it turns out that there was a lot more available, and it has been available since then. A little less now, but still available and I'm going to show you some of the colors that you'll see.

Of course, we have Tanzanite's like this, which is what we expect the color out of Tanzanite. Although, this particular one, it's a natural color and when you look at it between daylight and incandescent, this is a color changer. It will change probably 90% from blue, completely blue in daylight to almost completely purple in incandescent lighting. So, this would be a color change stone, whereas most of the Tanzanites do color shift, meaning they have a lesser degree of color change. So, that one is a natural stone.

This is what we expect from natural Tanzanite, more of a brownish look. This is a natural Tanzanite that will heat to a beautiful color blue, if I decide to heat the stone, but it's very pretty as it is. They call this color Diesel because it looks like the color that when you look into a can of diesel fuel. It's kind of brownish, reddish, bluish kind of color. That one will heat to a beautiful stone.

This is a heated Tanzanite, but it's unusual because it's mostly blue. This stone has very little purple in it. You go to the incandescent and it generally stays blue.

This next one, some people call it Peacock, Chameleon. It basically is a blue Tanzanite that has a lot of green in it. The rough will not display any of the yellow coloration. It's just mostly blue, purple and green and this is the color you get out ... And surprisingly, it's been a pretty popular color with people. Much like the steely blue Spinels, just a popular color at this time.

Now we get into some of the fancy colors. Whether you call it Tanzanite or Zoisite, here's a purple one. Again, I don't know whether these have been heated and it'll be impossible to tell, other than the person that heated it. I don't think the labs can tell you whether these are heated. But they're a unique color.

Then we have yellow. This is a greenish yellow color.

And another one that's got a little green tint to it and yellow.

And this is a very beautiful stone. Looks much like Malaia Garnet, similar to [inaudible 00:04:26] Sapphire. This is a peach colored Tanzanite and this is probably much rarer than the yellows or the purples.

And then maybe the rarest color and this is really a great one, is the the pink Zoisite or pink Tanzanite.

So, these are about as many colors as I've seen in Tanzanite. There probably are other colors. What causes these colors? I personally don't know and they're rare enough that the labs don't get much chance to really examine them. I've not read anything on them. Alls I know is, they're all pretty colors and I'm just happy knowing them.

Thanks for watching. I'm Steve Moriarty from Moriarty's Gem Art on the Square in Crown Point and

Steve Moriarty
Steve Moriarty

Steve Moriarty has been in the jewelry industry for over 30 years. Steve is not only a jeweler, but a gem cutter and designer. He has traveled the world in search of gemstone rough and has owned a retail jewelry store for 20 years located in Crown Point, Indiana.

1 Response

Elizabeth Hampton
Elizabeth Hampton

August 28, 2020

I bought a black tanzanite ring on a cruise. Could you tell me about the black color? Are there a lot of black stones or is it rare? Thank you!

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