Tanzanite- what's the deal?

Discussion in 'Disney Cruise Line Forum' started by alagille, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. alagille

    alagille Mouseketeer

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    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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  3. ppiew

    ppiew DIS Veteran

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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.
     
  4. 1025cruise

    1025cruise Mouseketeer

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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.
     
  5. OKW Lover

    OKW Lover Retired and living 2 miles from The Castle. DIS Lifetime Sponsor

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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.
     
  6. castoff

    castoff <font color=green>Something <i>Wonder</i>ful is ab

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    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
     
  7. CarolyninCO

    CarolyninCO Mouseketeer

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    The others said it well. I bought 15 years ago, albeit not on a cruise. I remember the same claim.
     
  8. MillauFr

    MillauFr Buzz & Woody

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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.
     
  9. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    If you're thinking of buying it because it's supposedly "rare" and might be an investment, don't. Jewelry purchased now will probably never be worth more than its original value.

    Only buy something if you really, truly love it, and plan to wear it often. Otherwise, spend your money on something that you know you'll really enjoy.
     
  10. I❤MICKEY

    I❤MICKEY DIS Veteran

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    Not specific to Tanzanite but if you know what you want or are looking for in advance you can save some money. My husband was looking for a specific Citizen watch. We've been watching prices for a year. In the states they were about $750 retail. The cheapest we saw it was $400 on sale. They had the watch on the ship for $375. We were going to buy on the ship but also checked in port. One shop in St. Thomas had it for $325. We jumped on it because we knew we were getting a good price.
     
  11. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    10 years ago, Alaska cruise, SAME nonsense. I hadn't ever heard of it then, but blue-ish-purple isn't really my thing, so we weren't tempted.

    Later on I was able to buy a tanzanite ring from ice.com for almost nothing. Laughed really hard at the concept of it being SO rare blah blah blah.

    And the people at the stores in Alaska came really close to making it sound like it's FROM Alaska. Like it's super-special for an Alaskan cruise. Weird.
     
  12. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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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.:rolleyes2
     
  13. NancyIL

    NancyIL DIS Veteran

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    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!
     
  14. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    in Alaska, as well as other ports we plan an excursion or beachy-thing on our own and always have a good half hour pre or post activity to do some shopping. We do try to support the locally owned stores, just as we do at home.

    I have an in-expensive ring made of tanzanizing tanzanite and enjoy wearing it now and again, to each their own.:goodvibes
     
  15. justmestace

    justmestace <br><img src="http://www.wdwinfo.com/dis-sponsor/i

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    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.
     
  16. 1025cruise

    1025cruise Mouseketeer

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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."
     
  17. alagille

    alagille Mouseketeer

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    OK, you got me thinking. I checked ebay for tanzanite earrings and came up with over 5300 listings. Most that had just Tanzanite set in a sterling silver setting or dangle averaged between $10-20. Now, if you added gold or diamonds, then obviously the price went up, but WOW. I remembering seeing prices when we walked back thru the stores on the way back to the ship in St. Thomas going for $200-300 range. I can't recall if those were white or yellow gold settings or just sterling silver, but don't think I'll spend too much effort finding a pretty piece of costume jewelry on my next cruise. But, I did "watch" a couple on ebay for 12.99 plus shipping- I don't mind spending time at home looking nor would I be too upset if I didn't like the $15 dollar item once I received it. Some were cute and seemed like what I might find at a craft fair.

    On a slightly different note, I wonder how those shopping consultants end up on the boat with us. Do the stores have a contract with DCL and pay to have them onboard, like a paying guest?
     
  18. DaymanX

    DaymanX Mouseketeer

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    My wife and I are fascinated by Marissa and Johan. They were the Port Shopping Guides on our Wonder Alaska Cruise in May, and again on our Eastern Caribbean Cruise last month (we couldn't contain our excitement when we found out they were on our ship again).

    They seem to be paid by the companies they're pushing, although this was not front and center acknowledged. We definitely weren't interested in buying anything--that's not why we go on vacation, and we're definitely not the target market. However, we were highly entertained watching them around the ship and on the shopping channel in our room.

    They do a variant of the same spiel each time, with the same canned bits, stories, and anecdotal advice about shopping in ports and what jewelry and watches to buy.

    This bit was definitely our favorite--so much so that I had to record it off the TV on my phone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TtCdHKa-OGk&t=1m30s

    I guess this sales approach must work on some people, but personally, we found it entertaining like watching good characters on SNL, Mr. Show, or Kids in the Hall.

    Any if not for them, I'd never have even heard of Tanzanite. Maybe there's something to their pitch though, because by the end of the last cruise, I was thinking "maybe I should look into this Tanzanite thing..."
     
  19. bumbershoot

    bumbershoot DIS Veteran

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    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. :)

    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.
     
  20. loribee

    loribee Earning My Ears

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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:)
     
  21. keishashadow

    keishashadow <font color=red>Proud Redhead<br><font color=green

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    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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