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Tanzanite substitute

I love the color of tanzanite, and have designed an engagement ring
for a stone this color. However, I am concerned about the
durability issues of having tanzanite as the main stone in a ring
that is to be worn all the time. Are my only other choices colored
diamond, or blue sapphire? Can I get those stones in the same shade
of blue as the tanzanite? I’d like to stay away from diamond if at
all possible because the stone is to be 8mm x 16mm marquise cut and
that would be extremely expensive in colored diamond. What should I
do? -steve

Color shift purple/blue sapphires are very close in color to
tanzanite, are less expensive than blue diamonds or blue sapphires.
Try one of them.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

The use of Tanzanite in an engagement ring could be construed to be
a disservice to your client.An engagement ring should always be
designed to last and Tanzanite is definitely not a durable stone. As
a matter of fact, nothing lasts anywhere near as well as a diamond.
even sapphires will bruise badly in time. If you want a cheap
substitute for Tanzanite with a similar appearance you might
consider Iolite. It is reasonably durable, but, better yet, is cheap
enough to replace as needed. The best compromise might be a lavender
diamond although you will probably have to source one that has been
irradiated.If you cannot bear to abandon the Tanzanite option then
make sure you make a mounting that will completely protect the stone
! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.

I have never seen any other stone match tanzanite for color. I saw
an Iolite (really!) come very close. Sapphire has to be the most
durable of those you mentioned and you can find a blue thatwill be
beautiful. Blue diamonds are way too expensive let
alone attainable and not in that color. Good luck! Mary

All; We at offer Tanzanite colored Topaz; which is
film coated white topaz. Prices are at the 2 $/Ct range. Color and
brilliancy are great! click on the following link to see yourself:
?stonec ombo=138

Kie from
We are cutting the BEST deals!

Hi Mary. I had exactly the issue described by this poster. I looked
on Orchid to find some recommended colored stone suppliers. Of those
I called, it was your recommendation, Roger Dery (Spectral Gems,
800-637-4367) who came through for me. He had obtained a poorly cut
2.25 ct. natural sapphire in a lovely tanzanite color that he was
planning to recut to a nearly square brilliant “princess”. My client
had requested an emerald cut but on seeing the stone and approving
the color he wanted it and Roger’s skillful re-cut produced a
wonderful dazzling stone. Although the re-cut resulted in the loss
of about .85 ct. the transformation of the stone was outstanding.


To Steve and all, Steve noted the beauty and liveliness of Tanzanite.
And, he noted it’s unfortunate lack of durability. I’ve repaired
more Tanzanites than any other gem type - including Emerald. So
Steve is wise to look at alternatives.

However, there are few that come close to the look of Tanzanite.
As Mary and Ron mentioned in earlier posts, Iolite at its very best
could come close. Though in the durability category, especially with
the long term wear that an engagement ring would endure, Iolite
would need to be re-polished from time to time as well.

So, this puts the likely purchase directly in Sapphire territory.
With the wide range of Sapphire color possibilities, Steve you are
certain to find a color that will please the wearer.

You mentioned that the desired size/shape is 16 x 8 mm marquise,
which is approximately a 3.5 to 5 carat stone. When your search
moves into Sapphire, you will discover that the best colored rough
is cut into ovals, antique cushions, pear shapes, occasionally
rounds and a few emerald cuts. The marquise cut by nature is
unlikely to enhance the look of a Tanzanite look-a-like Sapphire.
And, finding a large marquise may take a long time, let alone have
it be the ‘right’ color.

If your heart is set on the 16 x 8 marquise I wish you good luck in
your search. I feel it is worth the effort to reconsider shape
before you commit to the project in its current phase.

Roger Dery

At the recent (August) Gem and Mineral Show in Teofilo Otoni, Minas
Gerais, Brasil, I was walking past a booth and stopped short. What
were 15 and 20 carat fine ‘Tanzanites’ doing in a Gem Show in the
interior of Brasil?? It turns out that they were Cobalt 60 Gamma Ray
Irradiated Blue Flourite. Most people would have been taken in by
them - they looked exactly like fine tanzanite. It appears that
there is a market for this irradiated Fluorite in the Orient and
Brasil is supplying a good bit of it. Several other booths had the
material in smaller calibrated stones - but that were not as
impressive as the larger finer quality material.

Best regards
Robert Lowe
Lowe Associates - Brasil
Gemstones, Rough, Specimens
Tucson February 6 - 11, 2003 - GJX # 205
e-mail: USA
e-mail: Brasil <@Robert_P_Lowe_Jr1>