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Tanzanite, rubelite etc ... what are they?

(183 Posts)
nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:18:45

Am idly watching some shopping channel and these gemstones keep coming up. Are they rare? Are they crap? Have they always been around but people have just started buying them? Also, does anyone seriously buy jewellery from the TV?

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:23:23

I'll be interested in th answer to this!

Last I knew, tanzanite used to be given as the example of the relativity of the value of precious (and semi-precious) gems. Gems basically have a cultural value that is (sort of) linked to scarcity, and scarcity of purity, colour, etc. But, at the same time, diamonds, for example have their value controlled by the big diamond firms controlling the market. Tanzanite is the example of a gemstone that is being marketed quite heavily.

Frankly, I've no idea. Amethyst was prized by the Victorians and its value has plunged.

Any gem experts out there?

strawberrypenguin Fri 03-Feb-12 21:24:01

I love Tanzanite it's beautiful, it is a genuine gemstone and relatively rare in its natural form however there is a lot of synthetic about as well. Can't help you on the other though.

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:25:23

Tanzanite is lovely. Never heard of rubelite. Tiffany has a Tanzanite ring not that I like it much. Could probably live with it though. grin

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:27:31

Certainly agree that tanzanite looks pretty.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:27:51

There's another one called citrine. Sort of yellowy colour.

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:27:52

OMG - look at this!

Just wow. If you like that kind of thing. Which I do.

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:28:16

Citrine too, I'm familiar with.

silverfrog Fri 03-Feb-12 21:29:08

tanzanite is fairly rare. as is tsavorite. both come from east Africa - one fromt he foothills of Mt Kilinajaro, and the other found in Tsavo in Kenya.

tsavorite is a form of garnet - it is deep green, like a deeper, richer, emerald.

tanzanite is blue/purple (depending on quality) - I have some that is like amethyst, and some that is a beautiful light blue/violet colour.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:29:22

Belledame, that is gorgeous. And not expensive. So I guess it's a semi-precious stone. Like topaz or jade. Though maybe jade is expensive nowadays.

silverfrog Fri 03-Feb-12 21:30:13

grr, clearly that is Mt Kilimanjaro (why my autocorrect mangled that I have no idea!)

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:31:02

Impeccably set tanzanite, blue cuprian elbaite tourmalines

That's what the Tiffany copy says. More gemstones I've never heard of.

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:32:29

That's a gorgeous colour, BelleDame.

Doesn't the value increase as the stone moves towards the blue-violet colour range? <hopes someone will come along and give us a lesson in gems.>

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:32:58

£108,000 - a bargain grin

mrscumberbatch Fri 03-Feb-12 21:33:20

They are semi precious gemstones.

All gemstones can very in price massively depending on quality, you can pick up a piece of Tanzanite jewellery for £20..... but if it's a good quality stone it can go to £200.

Same for Citrine, if you imagine that it's graded same as a diamond, you're looking for inclusions, clarity of colour, depth of colour etc.

Jade is the same. Some jade is cheap but there is a particular colour and type of jade that is EXTREMELY expensive.

I don't have a certificate in gemology (it's really really bloody difficult) but I am qualified to do valuations so I am not entirely clueless wink

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:34:16

Lots of citrine on the Tiffany site too...

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:34:29

I liked the first, really violet, ring best. grin <fantasy shopping>

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:34:40

I hope so because I'm sure they weren't around, say twenty years ago. Presumably someone had the idea of mining a wider range of stones. Perhaps because the more well known stones became too expensive.

I would like to buy myself some jewellery. I have hardly any and can't afford the expensive stuff. I like opals and they are quite reasonably priced.

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:35:40

Read the Tiffany price wrong. It's EXPENSIVE.

animula Fri 03-Feb-12 21:35:57

Do you think tanzanite is going to hold its value, MrsCumberbatch?

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:36:51

MrsC - thank you for that. Do you know why they seem to be around more. Or am I just watchign too much Freeview?

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:37:03

Yep. Tiffany has a helpful "hint" card you can send re Valentines's day. I've hinted for the bracelet... Since we've split anyway I don't have high hopes! smile

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:38:31

Presumably it's the diamonds that make that bracelet so expensive not the tanzanite. But is the tanzanite used to make it cheaper than a sapphire or becuase the tanzanite offers something sapphires don't?

I want a workshop in jewellery. Mrs C? Can we have a gemstone 101 please?

BelleDameSansMerci Fri 03-Feb-12 21:40:14

Tanzanite is a different colour. Oddly, I'd find it less appealing with sapphire so it's probably a fashion thing. I'm easily swayed by Vogue!

nkf Fri 03-Feb-12 21:41:27

I agree the colour is gorgeous. Sapphires are often a bit watery (Gosh I sound princessy).

I actually have about five pieces of jewellery and I would like to have a bit more choice.

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