Difference Between Tanzanite and Sapphire Stones:
The sapphire has long been treasured for its deep blue color. It is now being rivaled in popularity by the similarly colored tanzanite, which appeared on the marketplace in the late 1960s.
  1. Color

    • Sapphires are made of corundum and are generally blue, but can also come in yellow, pink or green. Most sapphires are heat-treated to enhance their deep midnight-blue color. Tanzanite, made of the mineral zoisite, is also heat-treated to achieve its medium to deep violet blue.


    • With a hardness only slightly less than that of the diamond (sapphire is 9 on the Mohs hardness scale; diamond is 10), sapphire is exceptionally durable. It stands up well to everyday wear in a ring or a bracelet. Tanzanite rates 6.5 on the Mohns scale; its softness and brittleness require that it be worn with care so it does not crack or shatter.


    • Sapphire, the birthstone for September, is a legendary gemstone from ancient times, when it was worn by kings. Because of its relatively recent discovery, tanzanite does not yet have much lore. It was originally called blue zoisite, until Tiffany and Company christened it tanzanite after the country of its discovery.

    Relative Value

    • Prices for tanzanite have been rising while prices of sapphire have fallen, meaning costs for the two gemstones may overlap.


    • Sapphire can be cleaned in a variety of ways, including ultrasonically or with a little ammonia added to warm water. Tanzanite is sensitive to temperature changes and should be cleaned with lukewarm water and a mild liquid detergent, never in an ultrasonic cleaner.