SPECIALISTS IN INVESTMENT GRADE TANZANITE
Lapigems Gem Company specializes in the very finest 1% of Tanzanite, the grades rarely seen in the market. We use our close relationship with Tanzanite miners, proximity to the mines and international cutting facility to compile an exceptional collection of the very finest Tanzanite.
TANZANITE BUYING GUIDE
The Definitive Guide to Understanding Tanzanite Quality, Value and Properties
Tanzanite is a complex gemstone and researching its properties can be confusing, particularly online as there is so much conflicting information depending on where you look. This guide attempts to create a definitive reference for those looking to understand Tanzanite quality and properties in order to purchase in a more informed manner. We crosslink to our series of gemologist written articles on Tanzanite to deepen your understanding further on each subject.
We also examine several other factors pertinent to Tanzanite :
This is perhaps the hardest of the 4 C’s to judge online due to many factors, not least the unreliability of images shown on different seller’s websites. Basically speaking, color saturation defines color quality. The picture below demonstrates how as the depth of color declines in a Tanzanite, so does the rarity and quality.
The first of our gemologist written articles in the series How Color Affects Value in Tanzanite goes into depth on this subject and should be your first step in learning about color.
The next obstacle to overcome is to learn about the different color grading systems there are out there. You will encounter many as you research from the GIA system to the Tanzanite Foundation system. All have their own approaches. The second article in our gemologist written series addresses this and will leave you with a better understanding - Tanzanite Color Grading Systems - So Many Out There Which to Trust?. The article looks at the main systems in use today including the Tanzanite Foundation system, the GIA system and others.
Tanzanite can be flawless or it can be heavily included. Its quality is profoundly affected by its clarity grade. Hence, it is very important to understand the different terms in use in the industry and which inclusions you may find in Tanzanite.
The images above show some of the more common inclusions found in the gem type. The third article in our article series Tanzanite Clarity Grading - How to Judge Clarity in Tanzanite is an excellent resource and will leave you better informed about Tanzanite inclusions, clarity grades in different grading systems and generally how clarity affects the Tanzanite’s grade.
Whereas the actual shape of a Tanzanite has little impact on its value, the quality of the cut itself is very important. It is an area which is often overlooked in this age of catalog websites which sell huge quanitites of medium grades cut in the cutting houses of India. These cutting houses generally use a myriad of weight saving techniques when cutting which can increase the finished weight of a Tanzanite by up to 30%. This means the actual hidden cost of a Tanzanite can be vastly greater than you realize.
The image above for example demonstrates how with a bulged pavilion, you can end up buying a Tanzanite that carries much more weight in the pavilion (back) than a properly cut stone, hence pushing up your actual cost.
The third article in our series Tanzanite Cut - Often Overlooked but Very Important is vital reading in gaining an understanding of this aspect of Tanzanite quality.
This is the last of the 4 “C”’s and the one with the least impact on quality. A carat is a unit of weight measurement and is in fact 1/5 of a gram.
Generally speaking, the larger the Tanzanite crystal in the same quality bracket the rarer it is. This is because larger crystals have taken longer to grow and considering that Tanzanite can take over 500 million years to form, this is saying something! Carat weight becomes important within quality brackets. A 3 carat exceptional, investment grade color with top clarity will of course always be much rarer and more valuable than a 10 carat B grade color containing inclusions.
Tanzanite’s value in the different quality brackets of course translates into different price points. The rarest grades commanding higher prices than the medium and lower grades naturally. The Tanzanite market, unlike the Diamond industry is driven purely by the laws of demand and supply. The following chart depicts the prices we have seen in the market in 2013.
Tanzanite Prices and the Future
Tanzanite Prices have experienced many peaks and troughs since the gemstone’s discovery in the late 1960’s. This video takes a look at the causes and examines the factors which may affect price trajectory in the future .
This article also looks at this in more detail : Tanzanite Price History & Forecast
With the state of the world economy, Tanzanite has fast gained eminence as a tangible investment with great potential. We felt that we needed to make mention of this in this buying guide. This article covers this well Tanzanite as an Investment
This is a question we get asked very regularly. When researching Tanzanite many people are confused as to the role of heating in Tanzanite and whether it plays the same part as an enhancement as it does with gemstones like Sapphire where heating is used to enhance lower grade stones.
This article goes into depth on the subject : Tanzanite Heating - The Facts
When purchasing Tanzanite, one of the most prominent concerns is whether what is being sold is genuine. It is important to attain a basic understanding of the pitfalls that exist in the market in this regard. This article looks at the basics to give you a good overview : Tanzanite Synthetics and Imitations
D BLOCK TANZANITE
What is D Block Tanzanite? - This is a term often encountered when researching Tanzanite. Traditionally, the very finest Tanzanite comes from the famed D Block Mines. This is not to say that top grade stones don’t come from Blocks A,B and C but generally, the very finest material is mined in D Block. Block D simply refers to the area from which material is mined. The Tanzanite mining area has been divided into 4 blocks by the Tanzanian government - Blocks A to D. Traditionally, larger quantities of the best material have been found in block D and today, when the finest 1% is extremely hard to find, Block D still produces them albeit in much smaller quantities than in the past. We specialize in these rare pieces and buy almost exclusively from block D for our world renowned investment collection.
TANZANITE CONSUMER PROTECTION NOTE
When looking to purchase Tanzanite in the wider market, particularly online, buyers will be accosted with a profusion of opportunities to purchase. Whilst many websites proclaim to be selling ”AAA” or even “AAAA” stones from Block D, most are actually dealing in the A / AA range. Prices are considerably lower for this material and it has become a marketing ploy to represent lower cost material as top grade at low prices. True block D investment grade material is very rare and difficult to get.
Less than 1% of all Tanzanite production can be truly categorized in this bracket and it is considered exceptional. It is thus at a premium price right from the mouth of the mine to the very few highly selective and high end jewelers who have access to it. Beware of sites offering this exceptional material at prices too good to be true. Chances are you will be buyng a grade to several grades lower. This is obviously ok in itself as even lower grade Tanzanite is very beautiful, but it shouldn't be misrepresented as the finest grade.
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