shape
carat
color
clarity

Tanzanite

Discussion in 'Colored Gemstones' started by AGBF, Nov 11, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.
  1. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 11, 2003
    If I wanted to get a round or oval Tanzanite in a very deep blue color, where would be the best place for me to go? (Yes, Rich''s contest got me wondering.)
     
    


    


  2. DiamondExpert
    Brilliant_Rock

    Messages:
    1,245
    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    by DiamondExpert » Nov 11, 2003
    U can start here...http://awesomegems.com/tanzanite.html#top

    and here...http://www.ajsgems.com/TAZ/TAZ.htm
     
  3. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 11, 2003
    Thank you. I already "started"...at Pala Gems and at an ebay auction by Gem Stone King. But since all I was doing was looking, I can continue with the links you posted. Thank you.

    Deborah
     
  4. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 11, 2003
    Whoa! One of the stones is very similar in look (and cut) to one I saw sold on ebay. the ebay stone was over 3 carats, though. It is this one:

    http://www.ajsgems.com/TAZ/TAZ-00016.htm

    How can one tell the *real* color? Pay, get it sent, and return it if it is not right, I presume!!!
     
    


    


  5. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 11, 2003
    OK, on the AJS site stones are labelled "loupe clean", "almost loupe clean", "eye clean", and "very, very slightly included". Since one doesn't get a certificate with these colored stones, how does one know what the seller means? Is there a seller of Tanzanite one *can* absolutely trust? (I am assuming Pala Gems would be trustworthy. On the other hand, if one doesn't need their quality stone, why pay for it?)

    If I got a pretty colored Tanzanite for $650, I wouldn't expect perfection. But what if the price is $2,000? What should I do to see that a stone I buy for $2,000 would retail anywhere for $2,000 and not somewhere else for $200? I have overspent on colored stones before! Dave Atlas can attest that I bought a pair of sapphire earrings (for far too much money) that I wasn't sure even *were* sapphires until I had him look at them!

    Do you know these sellers personally? Does anyone know someone reputable who has lots of Tanzanite, will sell what he says he sells, but doesn't deal only in the most fabulous and expensive gems?
     
  6. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    15,809
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    by valeria101 » Nov 12, 2003
    AJS is a good place, although Tanz is not their stronghold, I'd guess. the clarity grades they asign to stones are explained somewhere on the site, and is not at all unusual that the seller makes his own way to communicate the appearence of these colored things... in medium price ranges. The one thing to look for in Tanz is color saturation (this is sometimes expressed on a 1 to 10 scale, where 7/10 is good and 9/10 a miracle). Also, the less purple there is in Tanz (and, therefore, more resemblance with sapphire) the better. The color is 99% of times achieved through heating, but the remaining 1% are naturally violet-blue or deep-green stones with severe premiums. Africagems has a nice collection. I like another small opperation Steveperrygems which has two nice ones (the looks of this site hide a very, very interesting source and the most knowlegeable shop keeper you could wish for). Look at Cherrypicked.com just to know what exactly makes the price of Tanz shoot for the skies (#1saturation, #2tone) or fall down(lack of #1,2 inclusions, dichroism, strong violet-to-blue color change). Clarity should be 'eye clean' since clear large gems are relatively often available. So, a sales argument like "Yes, I know there are inclusions, but these are excused in color stones-just look at the price of that RUBY!" (I did have the pleasure to hear this [​IMG]) is nonsense. Can't wait to see the follow-up! [​IMG]
     
  7. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 21, 2003

    I had been browsing at the Pala website and got into an e-mail exchange with Stefanie from their retail arm. I loved some tanzanite I saw on various websites, but the pieces that looked best to me (on the monitor, mind you!) were bigger than what I wanted.

    Stefanie is sending me two stones to view. The photos of them are not as beautiful as the photos of some other stones I have seen, but I am hoping that they will be nice. There is no way to compare them to the stones I have seen only on monitors, though!

    If I can, I will show you the stones that are too big, but look beautiful to me and the stones Pala is sending me.
     
  8. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 21, 2003
    Here is a link to the site with the too-big stones in gorgeous colors and with cuts that (to me) look beautiful:

    http://www.ajsgems.com/TAZ/TAZ.htm

    Please note the 5.87 carat stone. I like the color, shape, and cut of that one...just not its size. I'd like your help comparing that stone to the two from Pala.
     
  9. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 21, 2003
    This is the 5.87 carat from AJS!

    5.87 carat tanzanite from AJS.jpeg
     
  10. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    15,809
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    by valeria101 » Nov 22, 2003
    You are definitely not seing things... the color of bigger stones looks more staurated, juts because of their size. For example, if someone (crazy) would cut 2 2 caraters instead of that 5cts, both smaller stones would have far worse color. Therefore, to find a small stone with such a color the crystal itself has to have outstanding color saturation, which makes them relatively hard to find.

    And here it is: WWW and WWW and WWW

    Oh, and here it is! I was affraaid this place closed! Silly...WWW These guys really have collection pieces (if not postes, then in stock) such as unheated blues and greens... It was those cushion cuts I was looking for to show you.

    Did I mention steveperrygems? There was a 2ct with such color saturation there... This is possible, you should not settle for a washed out little piece. Just do not compare prices / catat: the variations for tanz can get one quite puzzled. The quality you are looking for in small sized hovers around 1000 (ok, perhaps 800) per carat.
     
    


    


  11. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 22, 2003
    Pala Gems sent me photos of two pieces of tanzanite in the shape and size I want (both oval and 8mm x 10mm).

    They wrote about them:

    "I have attached two photos of stones that I think might work for your ring idea. The first tanzanite is 10x8mm, 2.38cts. The color is a nice blue with a hint of violet as the stone moves around in the light. The stone is $700 per carat and the price to you would be $1650.

    The second tanzanite is 10x8m, 3.11cts. This stone is deeper than the first with a higher crown. The color is like the other with a nice blue. The stone is $700 per carat and your price would be $2150.

    They are both beautiful stones with rich color and a nice cut and polish. Let me know if you would like to have them sent to you so you can see them up close and next to the diamonds you had in mind. We can send the stones with a credit card down as insurance but you are not obligated to purchase."

    Upon further inquiry they also wrote:

    "The first stone is a modified portuguese cut and the second stone is a full portuguese cut. This cut gives the stones a lot of brilliance as you can see. The smaller stone has a deeper color with a bit more purple while the second stone is brighter with more blue to it. Neither stone is pale as they might have appeared in the email. They both have a nice rich color to them. I really would recommend that you see them both."

    tanzanite_2.38cts.jpg
     
  12. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 22, 2003
    This is the second stone from Pala. The cut is slightly different.

    tanzanite_3.11cts.jpg
     
  13. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    15,809
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    by valeria101 » Nov 22, 2003
     
  14. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 22, 2003
    They are en route to me as we write :). I will have to trust my own eyes as I did with the red spinel I bought. I got two stones; one was pinker, the other redder. I preferred the redder. Until I see these in person I won't really know how I feel about them.
     
  15. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    15,809
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    by valeria101 » Nov 22, 2003
    WOW! Good luck!

    Oh, and these is what Pala have to say about Tanz... I am quite sure you've seen it, but could not help posting it !

    Spinel? [​IMG]
     
    


    


  16. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 22, 2003
    This is my red spinel. I bought this from Pala Gems with the help of Jan and Brad Roshto from Diamond Brokers of Florida. It is still unset.

    My Red Spinel with Two Pears.jpg
     
  17. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 22, 2003
    Here is a link to the thread about the spinel:

    https://www.pricescope.com/community/threads/red-spinel-with-pair-of-pears.7728/



    Why can't I just write one word that people can click on? Why do my links have to be so long?
     
  18. Colored Gemstone Nut
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    2,321
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    by Colored Gemstone Nut » Nov 22, 2003
    Click on link below for AGBF Story:










    AGBF: You can copy a link by going to your original thread...You can highlight the thread title which is underlined before you click on it...When it is highlighted (Press the ctrl button and the C button at the same time to copy...




    Then when you are responding with the link inside the thread hit the ctrl (control) button and V to paste it...




    This is the hard way, but the way I usually do things...LOL..
     
  19. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 23, 2003

    I tried all three sites.

    The stones at Africagems appeared (on the monitor!) to be paler than the Pala ones. Also: if cost accurately reflects the value of tanzanite, the stones couldn't be that great! They cost around $315 per carat, a lot less than $700 per carat at Pala or the $800-$1,000 per carat which you say truly great color stones command!

    Steveperrygems had no ovals in the size I wanted.

    I couldn't get into cherrypicked.com. :(
     
  20. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 23, 2003
    And another thing:

    What is this color by the numbers thing at steveperrygems? Why does he assign a number to color? Who decides what number a color is? The stones have no certs, so no lab is grading them!

    Also: some of the stones at steveperrygems with the highest numbers (9.5) are described as "royal purple". From what I have read a tanzanite is considered more valuable when it is NOT strongly purple!

    Would anyone care to comment? I am trying to learn more!!!
     
  21. Colored Gemstone Nut
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    2,321
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    by Colored Gemstone Nut » Nov 23, 2003
    And another thing:

    What is this color by the numbers thing at steveperrygems? Why does he assign a number to color? Who decides what number a color is? The stones have no certs, so no lab is grading them!/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

    /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]





    Hey AGBF…His site used to have an explanation to the numeric value placed on his gems…I can’t imagine why he took it off the site. When he updated his page in June it went missing…

    Also: some of the stones at steveperrygems with the highest numbers (9.5) are described as "royal purple". From what I have read a tanzanite is considered more valuable when it is NOT strongly purple!/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]

    /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]





    Tanzanite is strongly trichroic (three colors within the medium being brown, blue, purple) and will produce a dominant color between the blue and purple based on the ambient light in which it is being viewed. The depth of color has to do with the crystal formation of the stone and the required light to travel through the stone to produce those colors. For example small tanzanites will not produce the colors that a larger stone will give. /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]



    /www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]/www.pricescope.com/idealbb/images/smilies/3.gif[/img]



    Tanzanite can be cut for the blue with purple overtones or oriented for the purplish color with blue overtones. Dominant blue with purple overtones seem to command a higher price.





    Hope this helps...[​IMG]
     
  22. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 23, 2003
    GIA has a helpful article on tanzanite:

    http://www.gia.org/library/4476/tanzanite.cfm

    This is what is said about color there:

    "Tanzanites are heat-treated to produce colors that include light to dark violetish blue and bluish purple, as well as pure blue. Rich, deep hues are valued most, but you'll usually see these only in stones weighing 5 cts. or more. This is mainly because of decisions made during the cutting process. Tanzanite typically shows strong pleochroism, which means it displays different colors from different directions. It usually looks violetish blue from some directions, purplish from others.

    Predominately blue tanzanite is generally worth more per carat, but because of the way tanzanite crystals grow, a cutter can usually get a bigger stone by orienting the gem to show the purple color. With small rough, size is normally the main consideration. While the trade considers the pure blue stones to be the 'top' grade, some customers actually prefer the lighter and more purplish colors."
     
  23. Colored Gemstone Nut
    Ideal_Rock
    Trade

    Messages:
    2,321
    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2002
    by Colored Gemstone Nut » Nov 23, 2003
    Ohh AGBF..What are we going to do with you...Lol...




    You seem to be missing a link when it comes to attaching links..Just Kiddin..[​IMG]




    Maybe edit your post...




    Hey AGBF: Try editing your text by switching to using RICH TEXT instead of NORMAL TEXT when writing your post and the type www..... hit return and you should get a colored underlined link in which you are trying to attach..
     
  24. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 23, 2003
    Josh-

    I am just not up to that today! Yesterday and Friday were very hard days. I want no challenges today :). Maybe after Thanksgiving...and my final exam in a special education course I am taking :).

    Deb
     
  25. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 23, 2003
    The website www.gemsociety.org

    said the following about tanzanite color:

    "The quality of rough can be evaluated by its saturation. The saturation doesn't change during heating; it just goes from brown to purple and blue. So the deeper the saturation before heating, the higher quality your finished goods will be.
    ... After heating most tanzanites are just purple, with approximately 1/3 of the pieces having a blue direction. About half of these will be oriented so you can get maximum yield cutting for the blue color, or about 1/6th of each lot. Every once in a while you will also find a very rare green tanzanite.
    ... Blue tanzanites are more desirable than the purple. Before the mines closed, they brought a higher price. Now the distinction between blue and purple gems no longer has a substantial affect on the price."

    In other words, according to *this* site, blue is no more valuable than purple!
     
  26. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    15,809
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    by valeria101 » Nov 23, 2003

    Yeah... but price alone is rarely a grading criteria, and the jewelry business thrives on 100% premiums! I do agree that the current selection at Africagems is not composed of perfect specimens alone, but at least a couple are nice. This is a high volume business after all, and ususally getting in touch with them produces a wider range of options thantheir website (which is just a sideline opperation).

    About those numbers: I believe that is the color grade tentatively assigned by the seller: small stones do not usually get certified, just as small diamonds do not. Given that small colored gems are usually also quite inexpensive compared to diamonds, lack of certs is the norm.

    All in all, since you are going to see the stones before buying, those color grades are probably not all that important as long as you know both what you want (surely you do) and what tanzanites should look like for the asking price...

    Hopefully, I did not get to bee tooooo innsistent! [​IMG]
     
  27. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 24, 2003
    On 11/24/2003 4:29:45 AM valeria101 wrote:


    ----------------[/quote]

    Hopefully, I did not get to bee tooooo innsistent! [​IMG]

    ----------------[/quote]


    You have been extremely helpful. It's just that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing. I know what I want "my" stone to look like, but I have no idea if what I like is what costs the most. Therefore I don't know if, should I see a stone I like, I will overpay. It seems equally possible that I will pass over a stone that others would consider good quality and go chasing a lower quality stone with a higher price tag. In other words: I don't know what I am doing and when one is paying $700 a carat it would be nice to know that the stone has to cost that much. I mean, what if I could get one for half that that I like as much and that is considered as good? Caveat emptor, but this buyer isn't knowledgeable enough!!!

    And, since the stones aren't graded, I can't just post the numbers or refer to a lab report in order to get advice!
     
  28. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    15,809
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    by valeria101 » Nov 24, 2003
    ------------​


    And, since the stones aren't graded, I can't just post the numbers or refer to a lab report in order to get advice!---------------





    Only diamond grades are many and precise enough to be that usefull in buying (meaning each grade is quasi indistiguishable from the next!). Colored stones are both graded and prices within much looser categories (both color and clarity), mostly dependent on their appearence to the eye. I guess it would be easy to get an idea about what you are getting based ona few hints about tone, saturation and cut (sparkle, symmetry). This is what I do...


    It sounds like you prefer a medium color tone ,as oposed to dark color (where dark is the trace of a blue ball-point pen, and lighter is a classic, 'basic' blue). While tone is a matter of taste and, aside extreme dark and light ones (ink-blue versus summer-sky) it should not make a heck of a difference in price. The key to buying a valuable stone is color saturation: the stone should deliver blue flashes and not lack color even in the darkest facets (those whch do not catch light at a given moment). Placed face-down, a saturated crystal would appear intense blue and reveal its color tone best. In pictures, stones with low saturation appear to have black and white ereas (resulting fromlight reflection) while saturated stones deliver dark and light patches of their default color.
    In tanz, you are likely to see a violetish-blue color.


    Color tone is rather easy to communicate: there is even a system to translate color intonumbers readily (some company produced and tried to commercialize such a color standardization system). AGTA gives the color combination of the gems it grades as % (for example you may see x%blue, y%green and z%gray in a sapphire).


    Stangly enough, gems get to their most precious when they get a gaudy, pure basic color (red, blue... in your case violet). So, really, comparing your gem with a FAKE (say, a lab sapphire allowing for the purple tone on top) is a solution. After all, those fakes are too perfect to be true.




    The pictures you have received from Pala look like medium tone, and less-than-medium saturation. Hopefully, the stones would show much more color in person, but? I am a little skeptical about all this (despite Pala's sterling reputation) because they have very nice pictures of other tanzanites on their site (one I have linked to a previousmessage). However, I would not go to Pala for a bargain: this is a place wher one would expect to pay for the seller's reputation. I expect them to reply candidly to your question about how do the stones they have sent to you rank according to their own criteria. However, to qualities in this size range top 1000/ct at Pala... so why would they sell the same for less?






    PS: It is in fact easy to guess the price of Pala's gems. Even if not listed, by selecting price per carat ranges at about 500 USD interval narrown doen the choices quite easily. Their stones are priced like this... So, the nicest tans below 3ct was 1500/ct there last time I did this. I would pay 800-900/ct for the same quality going down the suply chain, and probably as low as 600 if I buy rough and have a selected piece cut (evenif I do not buy bulk at all). This is my hobby! [​IMG]
     
  29. valeria101
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    15,809
    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    by valeria101 » Nov 24, 2003
    NOW I am really pleading pro domo...
    I know tanz is great, but how about another blue contender? Such as a 2.8 ct blue spinel .

    If you have not seen this tore before, I did plenty! It is a small opperation, so the choices available are trully what you see. However, each stone is a hand-picked, very nice, relative bargain. Some of the pieces I seen (and bought) from Acstones were really top class, although they do not have a consistent supply of too many varieties.

    All right, I was looking for an occasion to mention them... hopefully I wasn't too farr off choosing this one.
     
  30. AGBF
    Super_Ideal_Rock

    Messages:
    20,248
    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2003
    by AGBF » Nov 24, 2003
    The link isn't working for me :(. I wanted to see the blue spinel :).
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies. Please create a new topic or request for this thread to be opened.

Share This Page