Seems like Tanzanite is the latest "hot buy"...but is it really? On a recent trip to St. Thomas we found lots of differences in price and of course we found lots of differences in quality too. From what I found out, looking for the deeper shade, indicates the better quality and most desirable to purchase.
If you have info to share, I'd love to hear from you
Hi Olivia. I bought a Tanzanite drop for my daughter in St. Thomas in 97 for an EXCELLENT price...didn't even know what it was really. My daughter did, and liked it before it became so widely popular. SINCE then, I have researched the prices in Texas, and have found stores here to have good prices when compared to "island" prices.
I think the days of the deals on the stone in St. Thomas and elsewhere are gone. Supply and demand like everything else. People want it, the price goes up, people still buy it, etc. And yes, that's whtat I've heard about the stone, the deeper the color, the more valuable.
I bought Tanzanite in St marteen in March and had it appraised for about 3 times what I paid. If you go to a reputable store and know what you are looking for, you can get excellent deals in the Caribbean. I went to buy a ring and ended up with a ring, earrings and a braclet (that ishow good the deals were). It is true the darker the stone the better it is. I was given the name of a familty store in St Marteen and St Thomas which was highly recommended by our table mates (they had been buying from this family for about 20 years). We shopped around frist to make sure the deals we got were the best.
I had seen Tanzanite in several ports on a previous cruise and liked it, so did lots of research when I decided to buy..........go to tanzanite.com for info and comparison pricing. We ended up buying a ring through an internet source with a local connection, and I LOVE my ring. I get so many compliments on it.
Going to St. Thomas & St. Marten next week and would love to buy more, but probably won't be able to fit in the budget!
We were in St. Thomas last year, twice as a matter of fact. Both times we bought jewlery at Beverly's in St. Thomas. It is a small shop on the right side of the main shopping street. Prices were great so was the quality. I'm going there again in July and will be going back to Beverly's.
Good info from Libby, before you go you can research any gem stones to give you a good idea of price and what makes a quality gem-stone. All gem stones seemed to have websights, this is not as much fun as haggling with the locals, but know the difference in quality and price before you go to buy, an informed buyer can come back from their cruise with a buy of a lifetime.
Thank you Mark. You took the letter right off my keyboard.
Watch out when you buy Tanzanite. Know what it looks like. Go to a couple of jewlery stores to look at certified stones. I bought a "Tanzanite" ring a couple years back, from a big city, famous jewlery store (no names mentioned). It turned out to be something else (can't remember what they said it really was) but it wasn't Tanzanite. I took it back & got the sorry sucker routine. It's still a pretty ring but . . . .
I did hear the the mine was closed about a year ago because it was unsafe to mine. Anybody hear about that?
The last I heard from a young jeweler employee was that the mine used to employ 2000 but now only about 100 are operating there. The price of Tanzanite has doubled in the last 5 years, but there always seems to be PLENTY in every showcase in every mall.
I heard the terrorist rumors as well months ago, and then heard they were false.
I was not impressed with the prices in the better jewelry stores in Cozumel, and I had pre-shopped. I had some trouble trusting them as well, as I had been lied to by a man in a small shop in Cozumel minutes before. (told me his ring for sale was genuine tanzanite, when it was obviously no such thing.)
I purchased a large tanzanite and diamond ring from Diamonds International in St. Thomas last Nov. The tanzanite is 6.5 ct. surrounded by 1 carat of diamonds. I upgraded considerably, and traded in a one carat diamond solitaire. I was very pleased with the deal I made, and they are very reputable.
Doing research and homework, makes for an educated shopper, and thats a good thing..! I too have shopped at Beverlys in Havensight for years and have felt I got a good deal..Their new store is near Cartier, downtown, ask for Sonia, which is the new stores name as well..Its on the right as you walk from the cabstand , post office etc...One thing to remember aside from the darker color being coveted, is this stone is very soft, so wearing everday, may not be recommended...Good luck shopping........
Trip/ Monday Chat Host
About 9 years ago I purchased a 6.9 carat investment grade tanzanite stone and a 2 carat stone for my husband. My jewler designed a setting for both of them a year later,mine with .90 priness cut diamonds. I insisted I wanted a smaller stone but was told this was the stone of the future because it is found in only one mine and no one know how much was left. By time I had it set a year later he offered to buy it back for much more than I paid for it. Glad I listened. Anyway a high quality tanzanite should show both blue and purple in refractive light. But showing one or the other does not necessarily make it bad. Another factor also is to look for inclusions or flaws in the stone , cut and clarity which is done with a 10 power scope. About softness of tanzanite. It is only so to a degree. For comparison Diamond is 10 on hardiness scale. Sapphire and Ruby is 9. Tanzanite is 6-61/2. Opal is 51/2-61/2. If you are putting considerable money into the ring this is what you look for.
It is a beautiful stone if you find one that seems to fit the criteria for what you are paying and you can afford it and you have fallen in love with it --it looks good on your finger just buy it and enjoy it. You won't be sorry.
From what I have heard, there is only one main tanzanite mine in Tanzania. This mine has several shafts which are slowly being mined out. There was quite a bad flood a few years ago in one of the main shafts which has shut down this portion of the mine.
Therefore the supply of tanzanite is slowly decreasing, which in turn is raising the prices. Yes there still seems to be plenty of tanzanite around, but these are smaller stones which are more plentiful. It is the larger, higher quality stones which are very scarce and very costly. If I had a chance to buy a good piece of tanzanite now, I would do it .
I swear by Little America in St. Thomas - 21 Main Street, last store on the left of town, past the "fancy" shops. This is a Mom and Pop shop, very honest and kind people, not high pressure at all. The shop is unassuming, not flashy like most of St. Thomas, and Parminder Singh and his lovely wife, Pinky, their assistant, Carmel are wonderful people and have turned into good friends after years of dealing with them.
There is a Little America in Havensight, but the one I'm talking about is on Main St. downtown. If you go, tell them Carol from Michigan sent you and you'll get an even better deal!
I'm going to be in Cozumel in a few weeks. I'm looking to purchase some inexpensive but nice for my two daughters (8 & 10). Any suggestions on shops for tanzanite? I know they would love it because of the color.
On our last trip to Cozumel I noticed that Diamonds International had some nice tanzanite, and I believe they will set in in a mount for you rignt on the spot if you should want to purchase a mount too. There may have been another jewellery store but I can't remember the name. I would stick to a reputable dealer though, just to make sure the quality of the stone is good.
I bought a white gold small marquee cut tanzanite ring in cozumel, along with a pendant and white gold necklace. When I got back to Canada, the stone in the ring had come loose, so I took it to a jewellry store to get new claws put on (the existing claws weren't that good). The snooty @#(#) in the jewellry store proceeded to show me under the microscope all the flaws in my ring and said "you didn't pay much for this did you?" AFter a few choice words to the salesperson, I did spend $80 to get new claws (since I couldn't wear it like it was). I decided that I loved the ring - it's pretty and meant something to me. Who cares if it's not "show quality" or if it has flaws. I spent about $425 U.S. for the ring and necklace and I was, and still am, very happy with it. My only word of advice if you're considering a marquee cut stone on a ring is to make sure it's in the proper setting (apparently, my ring setting is meant for an oval stone and not marquee cut). A proper marquee setting should have protective "claws" on the two tips, not just on the sides. Mine does not have this protection and I know that some day I'm probably going to damage the stone beyond repair. Oh well, tanzanite still is my favourite stone!
Not to disagree with you Carol, but the term "claws" is also correct. I work in the jewellery business- both retail and making custom jewellery and the jewellers I have worked with refer to them as "claws".
I must respond to this statement about getting a stone in St. Thomas, or St. Martin for that matter, and then having them put it in a ring for you. If you buy just the stone, and not a setting, you aren't required to declare it when you go back thru customs into the U.S. If you have them put it in any kind of a setting (ring, pin, whatever) you are required to declare it at customs to pay duty on it's value. I have bought many investment grade diamonds at Diamonds International in St. Thomas, and just took the stones home to my local jeweler, who brought out several huge catalogs I could pick a setting out of. I didn't pay any duty on the stones, and I have payed into the 5 digits for some. I saved myself a ton of duty money doing it that way. They will advise you to do it this way, on ship, at the shopping lecture for St. Thomas, that will be piped into your cabin on the TV ship channel from the theater. Good hunting and good shopping, and Bon Voyage!!
My friend bought a 34 ct. tanzanite solitaire last week in Cozumel. What a gorgeous rock! She purchased it at Diamonds International. Paid 17K for it, but feels it is a better investment than the stock market. Lol