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Alexandrite vs Tanzanite: Similarities and Difference

Apr 16,2024 | Juyoyo

When you're in the market for gemstone jewelry, a variety of dazzling gems will be presented to you, each unique in its own right. However, some gems bear a striking resemblance to each other. Today, we'll discuss two such gemstones: Alexandrite and Tanzanite. Both gems can sometimes exhibit shades of purple, so let's delve into these two gems together.

Alexandrite & Tanzanite Ring White Gold Anniversary Wedding Band

This ring alone is set with alexandrite and tanzanite, can you tell the alexandrite from the tanzanite in it?



Discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in 1833, Alexandrite is a gemstone of mystical allure. Legend has it that it was named after Tsar Alexander II of Russia, who discovered the gem at his birthday celebration. During the day, it appears green, while under incandescent light in the evening, it transforms into a rich red, leading to its moniker, the "emerald by day, ruby by night." Alexandrite, along with pearls and moonstones, is one of June's birthstones.



Tanzanite is a variety of the mineral zoisite, displaying blue, purple, and even red hues. Discovered in Tanzania in 1967, it was initially known as "blue-violet zoisite." However, Tiffany & Co felt that the name was not user-friendly, so they renamed it Tanzanite, honoring its country of origin. In 2002, Tanzanite was officially designated as December's birthstone by the American Gem Trade Association.


Why explore Alexandrite and Tanzanite? Because these two gemstones are both similar and different, let's uncover the mysteries of these two gems together.


What Similarities do Alexandrite and Tanzanite Share?

Jewelry Suitability:

Both Alexandrite and Tanzanite can be used in jewelry such as rings, necklaces, and bracelets.


Both have metaphysical significance:

- Alexandrite is often associated with wealth, love, and good luck, making alexandrite ring a popular choice for engagement rings.

- Tanzanite, on the other hand, is believed to promote emotional balance, soothe emotions, and create a sense of well-being.


What Is the Difference Between Alexandrite and Tanzanite?

Different in Appearance:

Alexandrite appears green in natural daylight and purple-red under incandescent light at night. This color-changing effect is one of the reasons Alexandrite is so fascinating, as it changes color depending on the lighting conditions.

Tanzanite does not exhibit the color-changing properties of Alexandrite. Most Tanzanite stones display blue to purple hues, with colors varying depending on the angle of viewing.


Different in Physical Properties:

Alexandrite and Tanzanite differ in hardness, refractive index, and specific gravity.

Types Alexandrite Tanzanite
Mohs Hardness 8.5 6.5
Refractive Index 1.746-1.755 1.69-1.70
Birefringence 0.008-0.010 0.006-0.018
Specific Gravity 3.73 3.10-3.38

Based on the data:


  1. Mohs hardness:

   - Alexandrite: 8.5

   - Tanzanite: 6.5

   Alexandrite is harder than Tanzanite, making it more durable.


  1. Refractive index:

   - Alexandrite: slightly higher than Tanzanite

   Alexandrite's slightly higher refractive index gives it a more dazzling appearance.


  1. Specific gravity:

   - Alexandrite and Tanzanite differ in specific gravity due to their different chemical compositions and crystal structures. Alexandrite's main chemical components are beryllium aluminum silicate, while Tanzanite's main chemical component is sorosilicate.



- Tanzanite: Tanzania

- Alexandrite: Russia, Sri Lanka, Brazil, among others


In Conclusion:

Alexandrite and Tanzanite are both rare gemstones, each with its unique charm. Explore Juyoyo's Alexandrite jewelry and Tanzanite jewelry, all meticulously selected and crafted to tell your own unique story.


FAQs for Alexandrite and Tanzanite

Which Gemstone Should I Choose, Alexandrite or Tanzanite?

The choice between these two gemstones depends on your personal preference and budget, as they each have their unique allure.

Which Gemstone is Cheaper, Alexandrite or Tanzanite?

Generally, Tanzanite is more affordable than Alexandrite.

How Can I Distinguish Between Alexandrite and Tanzanite?

As mentioned earlier, the appearance differences between Alexandrite and Tanzanite are quite distinct and can usually be discerned with a careful look. If you're unsure, it's advisable to have them professionally assessed.

Which Gemstone is More Suitable for an Engagement Ring, Alexandrite or Tanzanite?

Both gemstones are suitable for engagement rings, and the choice between them depends on your preferences.