Tanzanite Frequently Asked Questions

Tanzanite Prices - Where Are We Heading?
What is tanzanite?
How popular is tanzanite?
How hard is tanzanite?
What is the value of tanzanite and how much does tanzanite cost?
What does the supply of tanzanite look like in the future?
When is the best time to purchase tanzanite?
How long has The Gem Zone, Inc. been in business?
What is your return policy?
Do you charge a restocking fee?
How are you able to offer fine tanzanite at such a low price?
Is there something wrong with the tanzanites that are deeply discounted?
I saw a tanzanite on your site, but it is marked SOLD. Can I get another?
Do you give volume discounts and/or special pricing to other gem retailers?
How will my order be shipped?
Do you ship internationally?
Will you ship my stone directly to my jeweler or another alternate address?
What forms of payment do you accept?
How will my payment be processed?

Some time ago, we began compiling a list of the questions that we commonly receive regarding our line of fine tanzanite loose gems and tanzanite rings and we try to keep this FAQ updated and current. Please take a few minutes to see if your question is one of those listed above. After reviewing the above list, if you need further information please contact us through our web form. A member of our staff will answer your question as quickly as possible.

Tanzanite Pricing for 2014

With the first quarter of 2014 nearly behind us, many of you may be wondering what the trend in tanzanite prices currently is. We take into consideration several factors such as current pricing at recent trade shows, other website pricing, as well as faceted rough pricing in Tanzania. Prices in Hong Kong and the Tucson Gem Show lead us to believe that tanzanite prices will firm into the fall of 2014. Prices on well-colored, clean goods in the 3 to 5 carat size range have been seen at between $400-$550 per carat, with some as high as $700 per carat. Richly-colored tanzanite in major metropolitan areas has been seen as high as, and selling for, $1000 per carat. Since Internet pricing is based primarily on tradeshow pricing, you should expect to see prices near $600 per carat. This price point, incidentally, is what we have been seeing online recently at other online retailers. Faceted rough pricing in Tanzania is slightly below this price point due to the fact that most of this material has to be sent to cutting houses in Thailand to be re-faceted prior to being offered for sale as finished goods here in the US and Europe. All of the above notwithstanding, we believe that tanzanite prices will continue to firm into the fall. During the past thirteen years that we have been selling fine tanzanite online, we have seen quite a fluctuation in the price of tanzanite. Back in the late 90's we saw prices as low as $200 per carat. In the early 2000's, this value had grown to between $600 and $800 per carat! Quite a range! I would say that for those of you who are considering a tanzanite purchase, now is the time! We believe that the supply of tanzanite has stabilized within the market, and there is quite a bit of support at these levels. With the advent of new mining techniques, we are forecasting a steady supply of high-quality tanzanite for the very near and not-so-near future. As always, if you have any questions related to tanzanite pricing, please contact me through our web form.

What is tanzanite?

A pretty basic question, but one that is worth asking. Definition: Tanzanite is the crystalline form of the mineral zoisite. Considered a "rare" gemstone, the zoisite crystals form in the presence of vanadium, which is a mallable, grayish-silvery metal. Tanzanite is found in only one place in the entire world, Tanzania, near Mt. Kilimanjaro. Tanzanite is customarily heat-treated to drive off impurities and produce the beautiful purplish-blue color for which tanzanite is known. The resulting color is permanent and is considered an acceptable treatment for this reason.

How popular is tanzanite?

Tanzanite has been added to the list as one of the top-selling colored gemstones of all time. The U.S. buys approximately 80% of all tanzanite that is mined, though recently much of the larger tanzanite material is being purchased by the far Eastern countries. Because of its outrageous popularity, tanzanite was added to the December birthstone list in 2004. Due to the fact that tanzanite is approximately one-fourth to one-third the cost of a similarly colored sapphire, it should continue its popularity for many years to come.

How hard is tanzanite?

Please see our in-depth discussion on tanzanite hardness. Tanzanite has a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7.0 and is considered durable enough to be worn in practically any type of jewelry. As with any jewelry that is worn, it should be cared for. Please exercise prudence in your choice of setting if you intend everyday wear in a ring. We recommend bezel setting larger stones in such jewelry applications. Tanzanite will scratch more easily than sapphire or diamond and should not be exposed to harsh chemicals and ultra-sonic cleaning.

Tanzanite Value

What is the value of tanzanite and how much does tanzanite cost?

The answer depends on the depth of color and size. Commercial grade (low-end) tanzanites may be found quite inexpensively for approximately $100 to $200 per carat in the smaller sizes (<1ct). You will generally find this type of material in your local mall's jewelry stores. The color of this grade of tanzanite will range from a sky blue to puple and is not considered very valuable (or even desireable), but for many consumers, just being able to own a tanzanite of any color is considered a priviledge. Rings manufactured from this type of material may generally be found for less that you might expect. But, remember that color is the #1 factor for determining value of tanzanite and, along with this, price. The current price for richly colored tanzanites in the 3 to 5 carat range is approximately $550 to $700 per carat, with full retail values routinely fetching $1000/ct or more. Other factors determining value and price are cut, clarity, carat weight and recent news related to supply.

What does the supply of tanzanite look like in the future?

Due to the fact that tanzanite is only found in one place in the world and is formed as the result of a rare geolocial phenomenon, most estimates are that there is enough tanzanite in the ground to last for another 15 to 20 years. With advancements in deep mining applications, the availability of tanzanite could be extended. In fact, this is exactly the focus of mining operations since 2009. Along with the introduction of deep-mining equipment, which obviously adds to the cost of mining, we expect that this will add to wholesale prices in the not-too-distant future.

When is the best time to purchase tanzanite?

Any time is a good time to purchase tanzanite. Some may consider its investment potential while others simply desire it for its good looks. We generally see price increases each fall due to short-term demands of the holiday shopping season. Our suppliers notify us of any price concessions when they have additional tanzanite inventory (which they are required to purchase as a sightholder) they need to sell and we pass any savings on to you. We generally have minimal mark-ups in all tanzanite we sell.

How long has The Gem Zone, Inc. been in business?

eTanzanite.com has been selling gemstones to our online clientele since 1999 and began our specialization in tanzanite in early 2002. We have successfully completed over 4,800 orders to more than 2,520 customers and are well-versed and qualified within the gemstone industry.

What if I don't like my tanzanite? May I return it?

Absolutely, no questions asked. Other than items that are marked for final sale and specifically described as non-returnable within the item listing, if, for any reason, you would like to return a purchase you have made, simply email us for return authorization. Our staff will provide you with a return number that we will match up once your return is received. You have a full 3 days from the date you receive your order to review it, as well as to get a professional 2nd opinion. We are in the business of making happy customers and desire a long-term business relationship with you. We want to be your first recommendation for fine tanzanite to your family and friends.

Do you charge a restocking fee?

No. We do not charge a restocking fee on returned merchandise. We will credit your purchase amount less shipping charges as these are not recoverable.

How are your sale prices on fine tanzanite so low?

Another great question! From time to time our suppliers will make special pricing concessions on inventory that we carry for them on our site. We simply pass the savings on these fantastically, wonderful tanzanites on to you. We maintain the same mark-up, wherever wholesale pricing may be. Quite simply, we do a high volume in tanzanite, and prefer to keep our pricing structured to this end.

I see tanzanites that I like, but the prices seem too good to be true. Is there something wrong with these stones?

No. This is a question that we get asked a lot. All of our tanzanites are thoroughly and carefully described in the item listings. Please understand that we do a tremendous volume in tanzanite and our prices are indicative of this fact.

I saw a tanzanite on your site, but it is marked SOLD. Can you get me one just like it?

Sure can! This is the primary reason we list our "sold" tanzanite at the bottom of each shape's category. In fact, we do a large portion of our business by obtaining similar tanzanites for our clients. If you are looking for something unique, please let us know. We haven't been stumped yet. :-)

Do you give volume discounts and/or special pricing to other gem retailers?

Yes. For orders over 50 carats total weight, we can provide special pricing. The only requirement, other than order size, is that you fax us a copy of your business license along with your Taxpayer Identification Number. Jewelers, designers and collectors from around the world have found it very easy to do business with us.

How will my order be shipped?

For most orders, we ship your item(s) safely via US Postal Priority Insured with Delivery Confirmation. Small orders of less than $100 ship 1st class US Postal. Larger orders over $5k will ship US Postal Priority Registered Insured. The latter method takes a couple of business days longer, but saves you a few $'s and is a more secure way to ship. This is due to the fact that your package must be signed for at each destination point en route to you. All orders ship within 1 business day. ***Important: We do not use the following carriers because they do not insure precious and semi-precious gemstones: FedEx, UPS, Airborne Express. Many retailers in our business do not even know this, let alone our valued clients.

Do you ship internationally? If so, what destinations?

Yes. We have been shipping loose tanzanite and other types of gemstones globally for many years. We presently ship to all European countries, Australia, Canada, and, from time to time, other destinations. With the present weakness in the $US, we have done tremendous business with our overseas client base. We prepare any required documentation on our end for the destination country's customs. International clients are responsible for any tax and/or duty on the receiving end. Most international orders arrive within 5 business days, though some destinations take longer. See below for the forms of payment we accept on international transactions.

Will you ship my order directly to my jeweler or another alternate address?

Sometimes. This depends on whether you are a regular customer. For those of you who have placed several orders with us, we are more than happy to ship your order to an alternate address. First-time customers must have your order shipped to your credit card billing address or verified PayPal address.

What forms of payment do you accept?

Just about every type! We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover and PayPal (verified addresses only). We also accept US Postal money orders, bank checks, bank money orders and bank-to-bank wire transfers. Non-US customers are required to remit payment via bank-to-bank wire transfer only, with the net amount (after fees) equalling the amount calculated in your shopping cart at checkout. We do not accept personal checks or convenience store money orders. We are not able ship to an unverified PayPal adress. Please use a regular credit card if you do not have your address verified through PayPal. Please do not request an exception to these guidelines. They are provided for our protection.

How will my payment be processed?

We process your transaction(s) through 128-bit full encryption for the protection of your personal and financial information. Our fully-vetted secure webserver certificate is provided by GeoTrust. When you place your order, please verify that the URL on the pages where you are entering your credit card information begins with "https://www.etanzanite.com...." As a valued client, we are committed to making sure that your personal and financial information is not compromised in any way. Additionally, we do not store any of your financial and/or credit card information on our servers. All transactions are passed directly through to our credit card processor when you check out.

Tanzanite Heart  17.59ct