Amethyst vs Tanzanite – Blue and Purple Beauties

Amethyst vs Tanzanite – Blue and Purple Beauties

You are at the right place if you’re by any chance interested in tanzanite and amethyst gemstones in different shades of purple and blue.

Choosing between amethyst and tanzanite gemstones might be quite challenging since they’re both gorgeous. Let’s explore the differences and similarities to help you make an informed decision.

In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about picking a jewel to suit your needs along with giving answers to frequently asked questions like:

Amethyst vs Tanzanite – Blue and Purple Beauties

Key Differences Between Amethyst and Tanzanite

Here are some of the main differences between these two gorgeous gem stones:

  • Amethyst is typically a quartz crystal variation whereas tanzanite is part of zoisite variety of gemstones
  • Premium grade amethyst is relatively affordable while tanzanite gemstones fall on the higher side of the pricing spectrum.
  • Amethyst gemstones are in purple shades while tanzanite range between purple and blue
  • You can find amethyst anywhere in the world while tanzanite stones are only available in one location
  • Amethyst produces relatively large crystals while tanzanite stones are not quite big

Origin of Amethyst and Tanzanite

At first glance, both amethyst and tanzanite fall under purple gemstones. But that’s about it for the similarities. They are varieties of different species of gemstones. The two stones have different physical and chemical properties. Read on to learn more.


Currently, amethyst is typically one of the most sought-after gemstones in the world. They come highly recommended whether you’re looking for exquisite purple jewelry or crystal for healing purposes.

In addition, amethyst is among the largest of gemstone species which is quartz. Quartz is a mineral that’s usually found on earth and it’s made of silicon and oxygen. Amethyst is a purple quartz. Quartz is responsible for different healing crystals including citrine, the famous November birthstone, smoky and rose quartz.

RECOMMENDED: How to Tell if Citrine is Real

Amethysts tend to make amazing birthstone jewelry and are the February birthstone. That’s why they make for a perfect Valentine’s gift if you plan on getting your loved one jewelry. These purple gemstones usually have a very rich history.

Amethyst crystals have been in use since ancient civilization. Egyptians used to craft cravings from amethyst gemstones to protective amulets and decorative pieces. Ancient Greeks, on the other hand, believed the stone helped prevent drunkenness.

Amethyst crystals come in larger quantities and bigger geodes. Plus, they are used as decoration pieces at home and fine jewelry. Some of the most notable places where you can find these stones include Brazil, South Korea, Russia, Uruguay, parts of United States and India.


Tanzanite is one of the most popular blue gemstones and the blue sapphire takes the lead. This is despite the fact that most tanzanite stones usually come in purple apart from the deep blue hue. Tanzanite is a trade name for blue-violet shades of the famous zoisite species.

blue zoisite on calcite matrix

What’s more, Tanzanite is the modern birthstone of December babies. These gemstones are rare unlike amethyst stones. They are available in one location only in Northern Tanzania, Merelani Hills. Tanzanite has no links in ancient civilization unlike amethyst.

Zoisite gemstone species has been around since time immemorial but tanzanite was incepted into the market in 1967. Livestock herders discovered zoisite crystals near Arusha in Tanzania. However, all the credits went to a hired gold prospector, Manuel D’Souza who initially thought tanzanite were sapphire gemstones.

RECOMMENDED: Best Place to Buy Sapphire Jewelry Online

Tiffany & Co., the ring designer advertised the blue zoisite gemstones as rare sapphire alternatives. They decided not to use its initial mineral name and instead opted for tanzanite as a trade name. They were split into blocks after the regulation of tanzanite mines – Block A to D.

tanzanite crystal

Most people believe that block D tanzanite gemstones are more superior. However, there isn’t any difference between the gemstones regardless of their mining location.


Amethyst and tanzanite are both have violet, purple and blue hues. Most people always get confused because of the colors. However, the difference between a premium grade tanzanite gemstone and amethyst is as clear as day and night.


The crystal colors of amethyst range from lavender or light lilac purple to other shades of deep purple. Iron impurities, on the other hand, tend to give amethyst gemstones different purple shades.

Siberian color amethyst are the most popular shades of amethyst stones. Just as the name suggests, these stones originated from Siberia. However, the same colors were found in different parts of the world. However, they didn’t describe the origin again but instead opted to refer to amethyst gemstones with distinct blue flashes and red beyond the purple hue in natural lighting.

It’s also safe to assume that only some of amethyst gemstones are subjected to heat treatment. Those that are heated always turn the purple crystal to an orange or yellow colored stone. It’s referred to as typical citrine that occurs naturally. However, those available on the market are heat treated amethyst.

What’s more, you can subject natural amethyst to heat treatment on earth. You’ll find citrine and amethyst growing together for this reason. The earth conditions heat all the purple amethyst or part of it and causes it to become a typical bi-colored gemstone. A combination of these two creates ametrine.

faceted ametrine stone

Ametrine tends to occur naturally but you’re unlikely to see bright orange and deep purple crystals. This is because of further heat treatment. Ametrine gemstones make the most beautiful fantasy cut and custom cut stones.

Heat treatment are equally handy when it comes to lightening amethyst stone colors and turning them to other different colors. You might have heard of green amethyst as a trade name but most gemologists refer to it as prasiolite. It’s usually distinguished as a different kind of gemstone as opposed to an actual amethyst.

Imitations and Synthetics

There are imitation and synthetic amethyst gemstones even though they are in abundance. Amethyst stones created in labs are usually grown and can be made with gamma rays on typical smoky quartz. Don’t expect to find lab created amethyst jewelry in retail stores. Synthetics are especially common in marketplaces like Facebook and Etsy.

However, synthetic amethyst stones are actual amethyst like other lab created versions of colored gemstones. This is because they have the same chemical, optical and physical properties. There are other different amethyst variants including plastic, purple glass and purple cubic zirconia.


Tanzanite features a dominant blue color with or without purple hues. Vivid tanzanite color tends to occur when zoisite has vanadium traces in the crystals. They are subjected to heating at relatively low temperatures to produce premium grade tanzanite jewelry available on the market today.

Heat treatments affect the value and cost of the gemstones. However, there are different types of heat treatment some of which are considered accepted and equally normal as they don’t have any impact. Tanzanite gemstones fall in this category.

Besides, all jewelers have treated jewelry made of tanzanite. You can’t alter the treatment by heat and other related means.

Amethyst and tanzanite both have pleochroism. These means that these gemstones tend to change color between purple and blue hues.

Imitations and Synthetics

Tanzanite is among the most popular gemstones without lab created and synthetic alternatives to their natural form. However, there’s a wide range of tanzanite imitations on the market. This is because tanzanite can be easily imitated by purple and blue stones or crystals.

Zoisite, on the other hand, has a specific gravity as compared to an actual tanzanite. This makes identifying tanzanite from other stones and crystals easier especially when done by a scientist.

Tanzanite can be a sapphire imitation or the other way round. Tanzanite are semi-precious stones while sapphire are precious gemstones. What’s more, tanzanite stones are quite rare but sapphire are usually in high demand. For this reason, tanzanite can be used as imitation stones. Besides, some blue sapphire shades can also produce violet crystals.

Violet hued blue sapphire ring from Brilliant Earth


There are other gem materials that you can use to imitate tanzanite gemstones including cubic zirconia, glass and amethyst gemstones with blue hues.

Value and Price

You might have trouble distinguishing tanzanite and amethyst gemstones at first sight. However, they are quite different in terms of price and value. A carat of amethyst gemstone is relatively cheaper than a carat of tanzanite stone, which is not surprising.


In South America, amethyst crystals usually grow in giant sizes. Top color amethyst stones in large carats are relatively cheap. However, you don’t have to invest in an amethyst since they are in abundance.

Tanzanite is quite rare as it comes from one source only. However, it’s demand is relatively low and that’s not enough to make the commodity rare. Top color gemstones are the only ones that are worth investing in.


The cost of Siberian amethyst gemstones is between $50 to $100 per carat. A carat of top color tanzanite goes for $500.

Loose Pear Tanzanite


Loose Hexagon Cut Amethyst


Choosing the Best Gemstone Between Amethyst and Tanzanite

There are more than enough reasons to love both tanzanite and amethyst gemstones. Am amethyst gemstone would be an excellent choice for you if you’re looking for relatively affordable stone that’s available in larger sizes.

Tanzanite is the way to go if you’re looking for a unique violet stone. However, amethyst rings are more durable than tanzanite rings for everyday wear. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that they don’t make exquisite jewelry pieces.

RECOMMENDED: Purple Gemstones Names & Pictures

You might want to check out Brilliant Earth if you’re looking for premium grade tanzanite and amethyst gemstones. Getting hold of high quality semi-precious stones in retail and online jewelry stores is no easy feat. Brilliant Earth features a handful of tanzanite and amethyst gemstones to help you customize your ring when buying online.

You can wear your tanzanite ring occasionally and amethyst jewelry every day. Tanzanite necklaces and earrings are low impact jewelry that are more durable than their ring counterparts.

Both amethyst and tanzanite gemstones are worthy investments that you need to add in your jewelry collection. However, if you’re looking to settle for one, always go for a gemstone that suits your lifestyle and fits your budget. Because at the end of the day, it all narrows down to personal preference and taste.

Leave a Reply