What Is The Difference Between Tanzanite And Amethyst?

At Siebke Hoyt, with a heritage dating back to 1889, we pride ourselves on educating our customers about the exquisite variety of gemstones we offer. Two stones that often captivate our clients are tanzanite and amethyst, each with its own unique allure. Despite their superficial similarities, notably their enchanting blue and purple hues, these gemstones possess distinct characteristics. This exploration aims to delineate the differences between tanzanite and amethyst, drawing on our extensive industry expertise and commitment to providing quality information.

Origin and Rarity


Discovered in 1967, tanzanite is found exclusively in one location worldwide - near Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, making it a thousand times rarer than diamonds. This exclusivity contributes to its mystique and value.


Amethyst, known since ancient times, is more abundantly available and sourced from multiple locations globally, including Brazil, Uruguay, and Zambia. Its wider availability makes amethyst more accessible compared to tanzanite.

Color and Appearance

Tanzanite Color

Tanzanite is renowned for its deep blue color with violet undertones, which can vary in intensity. The most sought-after tanzanite exhibits a vivid sapphire blue, a result of heat treatment that enhances its natural hue.

Amethyst Color

Amethyst displays a range of purple shades, from light lavender to rich, deep violet. The color is natural and can vary based on the iron content within the quartz crystal structure.

Durability and Care

Tanzanite Durability

With a rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness, tanzanite is relatively soft compared to other gemstones, requiring careful handling to avoid scratches and damages.

Amethyst Durability

Amethyst is slightly harder, rating 7 on the Mohs scale, making it more suitable for daily wear. However, like tanzanite, it also demands mindful care to maintain its brilliance.

Symbolism and Use

Tanzanite Symbolism

Tanzanite is often associated with new beginnings and is believed to inspire communication and intuition. Its rarity and unique origin also add to its appeal as a gift symbolizing preciousness and uniqueness.

Amethyst Symbolism

Historically, amethyst has been valued for its supposed healing properties and ability to calm the mind and spirit. It is also the birthstone for February, making it a popular choice for those born in that month.


Tanzanite Pricing

Given its rarity and singular location, high-quality tanzanite can command premium prices, especially for stones exhibiting deep, saturated colors.

Amethyst Pricing

Amethyst's relative abundance and widespread availability contribute to its more moderate pricing, making it an attractive option for those seeking beauty and durability without the high cost.

Market Value and Reception

Tanzanite: A Precious Rarity

Tanzanite's market value is significantly influenced by its rarity and the singular source of its origin. As a gemstone that is found only in one location on Earth, the demand for tanzanite often exceeds supply, particularly for stones that exhibit a deep, vibrant blue. The market perceives tanzanite not just as a jewel but as an heirloom, with its value appreciating over time. This appreciation is particularly noted in the luxury market, where tanzanite's rarity and unique coloration command a premium. 

Collectors and enthusiasts seek out high-quality tanzanite for its investment potential and its beauty. The reception towards tanzanite has been one of fascination and desire, with its story of discovery and limited availability adding to its allure.

Amethyst: Accessible Elegance

In contrast, amethyst enjoys a broad and favorable reception thanks to its widespread availability and the range of hues it offers. This accessibility does not detract from its value but rather ensures that amethyst remains a popular choice for a wide demographic. Its affordability makes it an attractive option for both entry-level and seasoned jewelry enthusiasts.

 The market value of amethyst, while more modest than that of rarer gemstones, is bolstered by its versatility and the consistent demand for its calming and rich purple shades. Amethyst is celebrated for its beauty as well as its purported healing properties, making it a staple in both jewelry collections and holistic practices.

A Balanced Perspective

It's important to note that the market values of both tanzanite and amethyst are subject to fluctuations based on factors such as global demand, mining conditions, and fashion trends. However, their reception among jewelry lovers remains consistently high. Tanzanite is often sought after by those looking for something truly unique and special, whether for significant occasions or as a statement piece. Amethyst's appeal lies in its classic elegance and the belief in its therapeutic benefits, making it a favored choice for everyday wear and special gifts alike.


Whether you're drawn to the rare beauty of tanzanite or the calming hues of amethyst, each gemstone offers its own unique story and appeal. At Siebke Hoyt, our knowledgeable staff is dedicated to helping you explore these and other gemstones, ensuring you find a piece that not only captures your heart but is also an informed choice. Visit us to discover the perfect gemstone that reflects your personal style and story, backed by our commitment to quality, expertise, and fair pricing.