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GIA Color Grade (Tanzanite)

Our staff gemologists give Tanzanite a GIA color grade to each of our Tanzanites. The GIA color grade is based on 3 criteria: Color, Tone and Saturation. Below is an in-depth look at each one individually:

Color: There are 4 Letters associated with Tanzanite color: 

V (Upper Case) – Violet is the dominant Color 

v (Lower Case) – Violet is the secondary Color 

B (Upper Case) – Blue is the dominant Color 

b (lower Case) – Blue is the secondary Color 


Every Tanzanite has either a Dominant Blue or Violet, and a secondary Blue or Violet. So for example, if a Tanzanite’s dominant color is Blue and it’s secondary color is Violet, then it’s color grade would be “vB.” 


Tone is the lightness/darkness of a gemstone and is graded on a scale from 1 to 8. A grade of 1 would be give to a stone that’s color tone is extremely light, and conversely an 8 would be given to a stone that’s color tone is extremely dark. The optimal tone for a Tanzanite is a 6. 

The grades are as follows: 

1: Extremely Light  

2: Very Light 

3: Light

4: Medium Light

5: Medium

6: Medium Dark

7: Dark

8: Very Dark 



Saturation refers to the intensity of depth if color of the gemstone. Once the color is established, the saturation grade is given based upon how strong the color is refracting. For Tanzanite, a grade of 6 would be ideal. 

The grades are as follows: 


1: Grayish/Brownish 

2: Slightly Grayish/Brownish

3: Very Slightly Grayish/Brownish

4: Moderately Strong

5: Strong

6: Vivid

Summary: If you’re looking to buy a top quality vivid Tanzanite, then look for a Tanzanite that’s color is vB with a Tone of “6” and a Saturation of “6.” In each of our Tanzanite listings, we have a “GIA Color Grade.” Our finest Tanzanites are given a grade of:

vB 6/6