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Old 12-14-2013, 05:23 AM   #1
alagille
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Tanzanite- what's the deal?

I'm cruising this spring and just remember hearing ALL about Tanzanite on our eastern caribbean cruise last fall. "It's so rare, but we still have a few for you to purchase though". The stuff was EVERYWHERE in St. Thomas and just wanted to know the REAL scoop vs the store paid (non-DCL employee) shopping consultants.

It's pretty, but I'm concerned it's just overpriced CZ in different colors.

Thoughts? I don't really have a trusted jeweler here locally so aside from shopping the chain stores and getting a sales pitch, I don't really have a go to person here.
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Old 12-14-2013, 05:39 AM   #2
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Tanzanite is beautiful and is found near Mt Kilimanjaro in Africa. It is not a CZ but a genuine mineral. When rough it is usually a reddish brown color and requires artificial heat treatment to bring out the blue violet of the stone. There are stores all over the Caribbean and even in Alaska. Must be a chain because they are all called 'Tanzanite International', Diamonds International, Emeralds International etc. I don't know the prices but I know there is no internationally recognized grading of the stones so I guess you buy what you like and pay what it is worth to you. Kind of vague I know.
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:06 AM   #3
1025cruise
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All the "International" stores are a chain, located mainly in cruise ports.
My personal opinion, I wouldn't buy jewelry at a location where I couldn't easily return it.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:36 AM   #4
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Tanzanite rarity is a marketing ploy. I've heard the same spiel about how its going to run out soon for the past 15+ years on various cruises.

Buy it if you like the look but don't think of it as an investment.
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Old 12-14-2013, 07:45 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by OKW Lover View Post
Tanzanite rarity is a marketing ploy. I've heard the same spiel about how its going to run out soon for the past 15+ years on various cruises. Buy it if you like the look but don't think of it as an investment.
Exactly what I was going to say. I bought my ring in 97 in St. Thomas and heard the spiel. I don't have any regrets, I bought the ring because I liked it. My husband was probably thinking investment though. Lol
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Old 12-14-2013, 08:13 AM   #6
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The others said it well. I bought 15 years ago, albeit not on a cruise. I remember the same claim.
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Old 12-14-2013, 10:55 AM   #7
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I don't get all of the jewelry stores at the cruise ports. In Ketchikan there were 72 jewelry stores. This is a town of 13,000 people. A tour bus driver told us there were only 3 stores owned by locals and the other 69 were owned by the cruise ship companies. I can't imagine these stores offer better prices or service from any other jewelry store. Is it just people like to spend money on vacation???

Maybe Amazon.com could offer free wifi on board of the ship so people could shop away.
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:34 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by NancyIL

I think it's especially sad to be in such a beautiful part of the world (Alaska) and to spend one's time in port shopping for jewelry and tacky souvenirs!
I think it's a free world and everyone is entitled to do what they enjoy.
Having time before or after exploring, or even instead of, looking for mementos, doesn't necessarily mean buying tacky souvenirs.
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Old 12-14-2013, 06:53 PM   #9
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I did an Alaska cruise last year on Princess. When we were in Skagway, we booked an all day excursion into the Yukon. As we were leaving, the shopping guide tried to hand us the shopping guide. I politely explained that we would not be shopping due to an all day excursion, we were heading straight to the bus and then when we got back, straight to the ship. He seemed a bit peeved..... Had a hard time taking no for an answer. I am glad that for Alaska, for the port shopping talks the first words out of their mouths must be "I do not work for the cruise line. All stores I am going to talk about have paid to be mentioned."
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:01 AM   #10
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They did the same thing with topaz. What they call "Caribbean" topaz in the Caribbean, is Mystic Topaz, and in Alaska they called it something else....making it sound specific to Alaska.
Ooh, interesting. I totally remember some different-sounding topaz in the brochures we got about shopping in Juneau. We went looking around, stopped in a bookstore, got some Mexican food in some away-from-the-main-street restaurant, got a shirt and some coffee at the famous saloon, went up to the glacier (I think we did that first, and, honestly, couldn't find our way TO the glacier which was pretty sad of us even though we saw people over there)... Good day.

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I have an in-expensive ring made of tanzanizing tanzanite and enjoy wearing it now and again, to each their own.
Oh definitely! And I later on bought a ring (more lavender-colored than what we saw in AK) when I got tired of not having anything on my ring finger (got so big with DS...2 months after getting married I couldn't wear my engagement or wedding rings and it was less than a year ago I could finally start wearing them again! DS is 9!) and it is very pretty. I'm just glad I knew it wasn't some rare Alaska gem. Know what I mean? Because we just about got sucked into it on our honeymoon.

Should probably get my tanzanite ring resized, actually.
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Old 12-15-2013, 12:59 AM   #11
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Tanzanite- its pretty and you can buy it anywhere. I bought some because I really liked it, but did not buy it at the recommended cruise stores. I had fun haggling over the price in Cozumel. We had fun, we negotiated a earrings with tanzanite and copal from 225 to 75, plus both of our free disney rain slickers(shop owner wanted them for his sitter and fiancé). Anyways it is all a part of the memory, the earrings make me happy when I wear them, and hey we even got to see the beautiful sights and do this 30 minutes before the ship left
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Old 12-15-2013, 08:39 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by bumbershoot View Post
Oh definitely! And I later on bought a ring (more lavender-colored than what we saw in AK) when I got tired of not having anything on my ring finger (got so big with DS...2 months after getting married I couldn't wear my engagement or wedding rings and it was less than a year ago I could finally start wearing them again! DS is 9!) and it is very pretty. I'm just glad I knew it wasn't some rare Alaska gem. Know what I mean? Because we just about got sucked into it on our honeymoon.

Should probably get my tanzanite ring resized, actually.
Jewelry is made to worn not saved, life is too short. Although I do typically wear the fake stuff when cruising (QVC has some nice stuff), only because i'm too lazy to take it off when snorkeling/swimming or in rather dicey ports.
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Old 12-15-2013, 10:20 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by 1025cruise View Post
I did an Alaska cruise last year on Princess. When we were in Skagway, we booked an all day excursion into the Yukon. As we were leaving, the shopping guide tried to hand us the shopping guide. I politely explained that we would not be shopping due to an all day excursion, we were heading straight to the bus and then when we got back, straight to the ship. He seemed a bit peeved..... Had a hard time taking no for an answer. I am glad that for Alaska, for the port shopping talks the first words out of their mouths must be "I do not work for the cruise line. All stores I am going to talk about have paid to be mentioned."
That reminds me of when I was in Cartagena during the 2007 EBPC and one of the stops for the tour i was on was some mall. The Shopping expert on the ship came into the store and as I was looking around got asked by her if I was going to be buying some emeralds there. lso at that time one of the store employees announced some sort of special sale because it was the "shopping experts" birthday. At that point I left the store as I was just browsing anyway.
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Old 12-17-2013, 11:06 PM   #14
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When I told my brother (who cruises frequently) that I won a tanzanite necklace at a shopping talk on our cruise, he replied that he calls tanzanite "cruisinite." You only tend to see it at the cruiseport jewelry stores....not so much at your hometown jewelry stores!
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Old 12-18-2013, 01:35 PM   #15
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Tanzanite reminds me of an episode of Newhart (the series where Bob owned the B&B, not the original where he was the psychiatrist).

Bob somehow ended up hosting the local home shopping channel, and the item for sale was some sort of jewelry. He was struggling to say something nice about the piece, and eventually came up with, "Selendric Diamacron................. almost as rare as glass".
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