Tanzanite stones are known for their “fire,” or sparkle. The highest quality tanzanites have a deep, even hue that can range from a royal blue tinged with violet to a brilliant violet. At smaller carat sizes, tanzanite is generally more affordable than the similarly-hued sapphire (as well as diamonds and other precious gemstones), but it still offers the same rarity and reflective characteristics that make an engagement ring feel special.
What Is Tanzanite?
Tanzanite is a sub-variety of the mineral zoisite that occurs only in the East African country of Tanzania. The semi-precious gemstone is characterized by a radiant blue-violet hue.
Celebrity jeweler Kyle Chan loves the idea of tanzanite or colored gemstone engagement rings because they're more in line with modern values—and modern economic realities. “The colored stone trend is good because you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg,” he adds. “You can put that money to better use, like buying a house or a car.”
Meet the Expert
Kyle Chan is a Los Angeles-based fine jeweler. His designs have been worn by celebrities such as Miley Cyrus, Beyonce, Lady Gaga, and Carrie Underwood. His jewelry was also featured in the 2016 film La La Land.
Here, the jeweler breaks down everything you need to know about following suit with your own tanzanite engagement ring.
The History of Tanzanite Gemstones
Tanzanite was discovered in the Merelani Hills, just outside of Mt. Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania in the 1960s. Tiffany & Co. named the stone tanzanite after its country of origin and brought it to market with a massive advertising push in 1968. In 2002, the American Gem Trade Association added tanzanite as a birthstone for December. It is also a traditional gemstone gift for 24th wedding anniversaries.
What to Look for in a Tanzanite Ring
As with all translucent gemstones, you want to be sure your tanzanite is free of inclusions within the stone, and that the corners are not chipped or fractured. You’ll also want to check that the color is even throughout. For an easy test, Chan recommends turning the stone upside down and putting it against a white piece of paper. Tanzanite is typically less costly than precious gemstones such as rubies, emeralds, and sapphires, but that can change when you’re dealing with tanzanites of large carat size.
How to Care For Your Tanzanite Ring
Soap and water is a safe way to clean a tanzanite ring, though Chan suggests avoiding brushes. Tanzanite is also a softer stone on the Mohs scale (it ranks in between 6.5 and 7, whereas diamonds are a 10), so it’s important to protect tanzanite jewelry when traveling. Chan recommends placing your ring in a plastic bag before putting it in a travel jewelry pouch so that diamonds and other stones do not scratch it.
Ready to start shopping for your tanzanite engagement ring? Find several dazzling options ahead.
Tiffany Soleste® Ring
All eyes will definitely be on you when you wear this 1.25ct pear-cut tanzanite surrounded by a sparkling double-halo of brilliant diamonds.
SHOP NOW: Tiffany & Co., $9,300
Novella Ring in Yellow Gold with Tanzanite
For the architecturally-inclined bride, we present this cool and contemporary bezel-set tanzanite ring.
SHOP NOW: David Yurman, $4,200
Emerald-Cut Tanzanite Ring with Diamond Baguette Side Stones
Baguette side stones give the illusion of a triple shank on this glitzy engagement ring.
SHOP NOW: Blue Nile, $2,750
Tanzanite and Diamond Ring
The truncated triple-halo on this vintage-inspired style gives an air of Old World elegance to this beautiful oval tanzanite engagement ring.
SHOP NOW: Ben Bridge, $1,299
Tanzanite Royale Tanzanite and Diamond Ring
It’s not every day you see baguette diamond halo, but that’s just what this 4.49ct emerald-cut tanzanite needs to show off all its angles.
SHOP NOW: Effy Jewelry, $9,657
Vintage Tanzanite and Diamond Ring
Go for a more Victorian look with this vintage-inspired ring. An oval tanzanite sits at the center of a filigree style set with thirty-two individual round diamonds.
SHOP NOW: Shane Co., $1,450 for setting
Thin Shank Cushion-Cut Tanzanite Ring with Diamond Accents
Claw prongs, a thin shank, and gallery diamonds allow a radiant cushion-cut tanzanite stone to shine in this delicate ring.
SHOP NOW: Angara, $1,909
Simon G. Tanzanite Emerald-Cute Ring
On this classically Old World ring, a split shank lends a little extra dazzle to a 2.71ct emerald-cut tanzanite.
SHOP NOW: Simon G. Jewelry, $6,380
Tanzanite Ivy Diamond Pearl Ring
Looking for something a little more ethereal? Natural diamonds and freshwater pearls float elegantly around a round-cut tanzanite stone on this curved gold band.
SHOP NOW: Tippy Taste, $1,150
Cushion-Cut Tanzanite and Diamond Ring
Still swooning over Kate Middleton’s engagement ring? This ring may replace the sapphire with tanzanite, but it otherwise mimics the signature characteristics of the duchess’s beautiful style right down to the floral halo.
SHOP NOW: Bernie Robbins, price upon request
Tanzanite & Ruby Ring
Double-down on the colored engagement ring trend with this pretty tanzanite and ruby combo.
SHOP NOW: Yi Collection, $1,250
Tanzanite and Diamond Ring with Floral Motif
Want a vintage look that feels worthy of a celebration as major as a wedding? Go for this floral-inspired ring, which features petals of 18K yellow gold inset with diamonds surrounding a brilliant 0.88ct tanzanite.
SHOP NOW: Beverley K, price upon request
Tanzanite and Diamond Double Halo Ring
This Baroque-inspired beauty is dotted with 60 round-cut diamonds and centered on a 6mm oval tanzanite.
SHOP NOW: Helzberg Diamonds, $1,000
Cara Tanzanite Rose Gold Ring
Dainty and delicate, this barely-there tanzanite ring is designed to play well with others. That makes it the perfect option for the bride looking to embrace the stacked ring trend.
SHOP NOW: Laura Preshong, $520