What Is The Difference Between Tanzanite And Amethyst?

When it comes to gemstones, two of the most beautiful stones that may come to mind are the amethyst and tanzanite. These gems are known to display gorgeous hues of purples. However, there are several differences between the two stones. What are they, and what should you look for in both tanzanite and amethyst? In this guide, we'll discuss the differences between these gemstones to help you figure out which could be right for you!

What Are The Characteristics Of Tanzanite And Amethyst?

Amethyst and tanzanite are thought to be similar, in that they each can have lovely shades of purple. They also look as if they have a crystal-like quality to them. However, they actually are not formed the same way, nor are made of the same material. The following are the three areas in which amethyst and tanzanite stones differ:


  • Mineral Composition: Tanzanite has a zoisite mineral structure. It has a density of about 3.35 and a hardness of about 6 on the Mohs scale.
  • Availability: This gemstone is considered to be quite rare. This is due to the fact that the stones can only be found in Northern Tanzania. 
  • Color Range: Besides a few shades of purple, tanzanite can be found in hues of yellow, green, pink, and even blue. Several factors, such as oxidation and heat, can affect the color of a tanzanite stone..  


  • Mineral Composition: This gemstone is composed of silicon dioxide and is within the quartz family. Amethyst has a Mohs hardness rating of about 7, with a density of about 2.66. 
  • Availability: Amethyst is much easier to find in comparison to tanzanite. The gemstone can be abundantly found in areas of both North and South America.
  • Color Range: Unlike tanzanite, amethyst will most likely always have a deep purple hue. However, it can also can be found in shades of violet and light lavender.

What Should You Look For In These Gemstones?

As with other gems, you should look out for the four C's (cut, clarity, color, and carat). However, there are a few additional aspects that should be assessed, when looking for both tanzanite and amethyst. Here are the top three things to consider when choosing tanzanite and amethyst:

  • Lighting: An important factor to consider when looking at both amethyst and tanzanite stones is how they become affected by light. Lighting especially impacts tanzanite, as it can shift the gemstone's color. This factor helps to understand how the gem will look in contrasting light settings.
  • Treatments: Gemstones can go through a treatment or process, in which is made to bring out the natural color of the gem. Sometimes, if a stone is heated improperly or for too long, it can affect the color. This, in turn, can affect the quality of the stone, overall.
  • Inclusions: Both amethyst and tanzanite stones can have small inclusions. The more visible these inclusions are, the more they can affect the value of the gemstones. It's always a good idea to get a jeweler to help you figure out whether the particular inclusion is worth noting.


Both tanzanite and amethyst gemstones are excellent choices when choosing jewelry pieces. They provide a sense of elegance and intensity to any style! If you are looking for a beautiful amethyst or tanzanite jewelry piece, contact us! At Landsberg Jewelers, our goal is to help you find jewelry pieces that complement your style! Let us help you find the right piece today!

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