We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Buying Tanzanite

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 posts
36 reviews
Save Topic
Buying Tanzanite

Just a word of warning if you are looking for Tanzanite in Arusha. Avoid African Galleria and Mr. Anit Dodhia. He sold me what was purportedly a 1.5 carat AA stone. Had it appraised and it turned out to be only a B. Caveat Emptor but don't give your business to this rip off clown.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Buying Tanzanite

Sorry about this, but know that there is a big difference in color between AA and B and this should have been noticeable. For others reading this, if your're going to be buying Tanzanite get a grading color chart and match them. It seems that many sellers will inflate the color grades like this. There are very few AAA stones, but many will tell you they are this.

Could I ask what did you pay for the 1.5 ct and what did the appraiser put as the value. Was the appraiser GIA certified or was s/he a jewerery store person?

Hamilton, New Jersey
Level Contributor
241 posts
23 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Buying Tanzanite

Karl,

Would you recommend bringing the color chart from home? I'm guessing the ones in the shops would match what they claim the stone to be.

I'm contemplating buying some earrings or something, I love the stone and would love to say I got them there. I just don't want to be ripped off.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Buying Tanzanite

Absolutely bring it from home. Most all of them will bring out phoney grading certificates or tell you it's a Grade AAA or something like that to inflate the price. There are honest dealers, but you will find it difficult to find them. The biggest rip off place is the Cultural Center they not only have inflated grades they also inflate the prices to way over the top; but if you see their prices on other things there you will know that they inflate all prices there. Having said that the Cultural Center does have genuine stones.

If you know nothing about the stone then you can easily be ripped off.

Earrings are easy to create, and at a smaller price since the stones will be 1ct or less. If you are in Dar I would suggest that you go to the Jewerly District on Indria Ghandi Street, between Morogoro Road and Samora Street; there would will find probably at least 40 - 50 jewerly dealers shops. You will recognize them because they will have an armed person at a doorway gate, just walk up to them and they will open the gate. If you are here I would suggest going to Gem Point, I know them to be honest, they will expect you to negotiae for the price but they will be honest with you. Only trust grading certificates which are GIA or EGL (Gemology Institute of America and European Gemological Lab), the others are for advertising only and probably created by themselves. The things you have to watch out for are synthetic stones or those which are not really Tanzanite but some other colored stone which looks like a Tanzanite. I have actually had one person try to sell me a plastic stone telling me that it was a saphire. In order to tell this kind of thievey you need a lope or stronger magnification and measuring the stones specific gravity, of course all this requires the proper instruments.

Another sure fire way to guarantee the authenticity of the gemstone, if you are in Dar, is to take the stone to SEAMIC (Southern and Eastern Africa Mineral Centre) in Kunduchi Beach area. They have a lab and can test all kinds of gemstones and eveluate them.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Buying Tanzanite

Unfortunately I was in Arusha to climb Kilimanjaro and I had only a couple of hours one afternoon for shopping. I got permission for the trip in return for a promise to pick up some Tanzanite for my wife. I went ahead with the purchase despite getting a bad feeling from the guy so I really have only myself to blame. I paid $500 for the stone. When the appraiser told me it was a B I told him not to tell me the value-I already felt bad enough.

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Buying Tanzanite

You didn't do all that badly, $333 per ct for a 1.5 ct B grade stone. If you liked the looks of the stone before you knew what it was then it should be OK for you. The point of the grading is to assess the true value of the stone, it doesn't change what the stone looks like.

If that bothers you then look at it this way, that's the price you pay for getting permission for the trip.

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
38,035 posts
376 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Buying Tanzanite

Gonna have to censor this post. You paid $500 to get permission to make the trip? Lady Mfuwe pays ME to go away! If I returned with an expensive present she would phone her Lawyer!!

Findlay, Ohio
Destination Expert
for Tanzania, Ngorongoro Conservation Area
Level Contributor
12,485 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Buying Tanzanite

Hhhmmmm... Mwfuwe, when I return home, my wife always says "Oh you again".

Isle of Man, United...
Level Contributor
38,035 posts
376 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Buying Tanzanite

At she gives you the benefit of recognising you. I get the dog set on me!

Minneapolis...
Level Contributor
4,493 posts
131 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Buying Tanzanite

I asked my wife why she reads the obituaries every morning... she just said "wishful thinking..."

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
5 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Buying Tanzanite

Thanks for the perspective. And it was a small price to pay for the trip of a lifetime to a beautiful country with wonderful people.