How to Identify Fake Tanzanite

By Aaron Kopf
An image of two tanzanite jewels
tanzanite image by Julianna Olah from Fotolia.com

Tanzanite is a recently discovered gemstone from Africa. Brilliant blue in color with a tinge of purple, tanzanite is rising in popularity with both consumers and jewelers. While tanzanite is not the ideal jewel for daily wear due to its soft composition, if worn occasionally, the blue bauble can last for years. Unfortunately, tanzanite is no exception to the threat of cheaper imitators masquerading as the real deal. Money-conscious consumers can perform their own tests to determine the authenticity of their gem without the need to visit a jeweler.

Tanzanite Filter Kit

Place the white viewing surface included with the tanzanite filter kit on a table. Lay test stones and the gem in question on viewing surface.

Illuminate the area with a bright incandescent light. The flickering nature of fluorescent light can skew the test results by adding green pigment to the stones. The darker the stones, the closer the light needs to be.

Observe the test stones through the filter included in the kit. They should appear pinkish-grey in color.

Hold the filter up to your eye and examine the gem in question. Consult the table included with the kit to identify the gem.

Dichroism Test

Hold the dichroism filter included with the tanzanite filter kit above the gem in question. Be sure to allow at least 14 inches between your eye and the filter.

Slide the filter side-to-side to examine the stone through each of the adjacent transparent lenses on the dichroism filter.

Note any changes in color. Rotate the gem and repeat the process to be sure of your observations.

Consult the included dichroism chart to identify the gem in question.

About the Author

Aaron Kopf graduated from the University of Central Arkansas with honors in 2009, holding a Bachelor of Arts in communication. While enjoying his time at college, Kopf was published in The Echo and Vortex magazine.