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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) / Difference Sapphire - Tanzanite

What is the difference between sapphire and tanzanite?

Among the most popular gems in the market, sapphire and tanzanite could not be more different. Sapphire is corundum, with a hardness of 9 on the Mohs scale. It occurs in blue, but also in yellow, pink, purple, orange, black, colorless and green. Most sapphire is heat-treated, but unheated specimens can be found. Tanzanite, on the other hand, is a form of zoisite, with a Mohs hardness of 6.5 to 7. Tanzanite colors include purple and blue. The color of most gems is medium to deep violet-blue. Tanzanite is often enhanced by heat treatment to eliminate brownish-yellow tints.

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  • First Published: February-20-2006
  • Last Updated: November-11-2014
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