The Tanzanite Gem market has been strong for forty years. There is good
reason for this gem's popularity. It has the characteristics of a precious
gem... overall beauty, amazing color, and rarity, just to name a few.
The Tanzanite Gem market is now maturing, and it seems to be stabilizing.
The gem was discovered in the Merelani Hills of northeastern Tanzania, in
1967, and introduced to the gem and jewelry industry soon thereafter. By 1970
the general public had become aware of this new, beautiful, and very rare gem.
Tanzanite demand began to build, and prices increased steadily over much of
the next four decades. This blue-violet gem was, and continues to be featured in
high-end jewelry pieces;
Prices followed the law of supply and demand. And there was great demand. In
the very early days, the rough stones could be found loose in areas where rocks,
gravel, and soil had eroded from the hills and collected. Soon it became
necessary to dig for the rough stones in the host rock. These diggings evolved
into artisan mines - simple pit mines worked by family groups of the local Masai
To increase supply to meet demand, capital investment was needed. A lot of
money was required to consolidate some of the
artisanal mines to make
mechanized mining feasible, and to deal with evolving government regulations..
As the pit mines became hard rock tunnel mines, more expensive sophisticated
mining techniques, equipment, and safety practices became necessary. These
larger mining operations chased the blue stones ever deeper into the earth.
The Tanzanite Gem market needed to fill the demand of consumers, who
continued to hunger for top gem quality stones set in rings, neckwear, and
As with everything else, there are limits. Limits to how deep the mine
shafts can go, and limits to how much gem material Mother Nature created
within these hills.
There are also limits as to how much of the gem material is truly gem
quality. And there are limits in the market, price limits, and market
saturation limits that reduce demand.
There are indicators that all - or at least most - of these limits are
The Tanzanite Foundation is shutting down!
For the next part of this narrative, we need to refer to the aftermath of
the September 11, 2001, attacks on the United States by al-Qaeda.
During the investigations that followed the attacks, it became know that
al-Qaeda received substantial funding by controlling a significant portion of
the trade in tanzanite. Working the supply "pipeline" between the
mines and the European gem and jewelry markets was a lucrative black market
operation for the terrorist network.
One of the major tanzanite mining and marketing operators looked at this
problem and created a solution. Tanzanite One, a division of Richland
Resources Ltd organized an industry meeting during the 2003
Tucson Gem Shows, (While I was at the American
Gem Trade Association show on the days the meeting was held, I did
not attend, as I have never been a major dealer in tanzanite.)
The meeting resulted in the creation of the Tucson Tanzanite Protocol (TTP),
and the Tanzanite Foundation. A primary benefit to the industry is that 90% of
tanzanite since produced is ethically mined and delivered to market, denying
terrorist front men any piece of the action.
Before the controlled, documented transmittal of gem rough from the mines
in the wild northeastern section of Tanzania to European, Asian, and American
gem markets, many stones were smuggled across borders.
The Merelani Hills is near Mount Kilimanjaro and the Kenyan border. This is
open, wild country on both sides of this border.. Those who blend in come and
go with near impunity.
Mount Kilimanjaro dominates the landscape and can be seen from hundreds of
kilometers in all directions.
Now that the supply chain has become regulated by the industry, and prices
have retreated somewhat, the Tanzanite Foundation is shutting down. Jewelry
industry news website jckonline.com reports that the foundation will cease
operations on August 31, 2014. The news report quotes executive director
Hayley Henning ...
"The decision to close was based on economics—tanzanite’s prices
have been at all-time lows—as well as poor production, repeated problems
with illegal miners and theft, and other factors."
“I’m proud of our accomplishments—not only in promoting tanzanite,
but in the social responsibility arena where we’ve made a huge difference to
the lives of the local community outside the tanzanite mining area.”
The Tanzanite Gem market will continue to evolve as conditions change.
Maybe the miners will come across favorable geology in the region and discover
new deposits of this very popular gem.
Top - Tanzanite trillion example
Next - Tanzanite and diamond estate piece
Tanzanite and diamond high end auction item
Next - London gemstone dealers
Next - Mount Kilimanjaro view from Tanzania mining camp
Next - Mount Kilimanjaro view from Kenya
Next - Tanzania border map
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Next: - Gem special offer - Topaz - A matched pair of
gem quality, round topaz gemstones in Top Swiss Blue color.
Next - Industry News - Csarite, a rare, color change gem
Next - Dealer Product Image - Blue Spinel and White
Topaz Ring in Sterling Silver
Last - Dealer Program Image - Pink Spinel and Sterling
A Google search for links or images using keywords such as tanzanite
mining or tanzanite identification can return some very interesting information and websites.
We have other shapes, sizes, and
shades of blue topaz available.
We keep gem prices low by buying quality gemstone rough
worldwide, and having the rough material cut by our gem cutters in Asia.
Gem Industry News
Milenyum Mining Donates Large Csarite
Gems to GIA Museum
Milenyum Mining Limited recently donated two rare CSARITE® gemstones to the
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) museum in Carlsbad, California. CSARITE®
is a natural color change gemstone actively mined at only one global source deep
in the Anatolia Mountains of Turkey. A 37.29-carat Wobito® oval and an
especially large 115.57-carat cabochon gem that also exhibits chatoyancy,
otherwise known as the cats eye effect, as well as a collection of 30 additional
CSARITE® gemstones in a variety of sizes, shapes and cuts were given to the
“Only about 40 to 50 percent of the rough material is suitable enough to be
considered for faceting,” explained Murat Akgun, the president of Milenyum
Mining Limited. “Of that amount, 98 percent is lost in the cutting process.
GIA’s appreciation for fine, rare gemstones makes it an especially appropriate
home for these gems.”
“The beautiful, large oval and cabochon gems are truly display quality
pieces,” stated Ottaway. “And with more and more of this unusual material
available in the marketplace, we very much appreciate having this assortment of
gemstones to share with our students, researchers and visitors.”
MML is the world’s only source supply of CSARITE®, a natural, unenhanced
color-change gemstone. Responsible for cutting and marketing of this phenomenal
gemstone, MML’s mission is to introduce gem and jewelry connoisseurs around
the globe to CSARITE®’s unique beauty and rarity. MML is a member of The
International Colored Gemstone Association. CSARITE® will be available for
wholesale purchase at the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair, AWE
#10U31. For appointments contact info-at-courtneycollection.com or call
323.938.2373. Visit www.csarite.info
for a list of authorized distributors and retailers.
An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America),
established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in
gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of color, cut, clarity and carat weight in
the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™
which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument
development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and
jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and
professionalism. Visit www.gia.edu.
The sluggish economy presents an opportunity for independent jewelry
dealers to serve their existing customers and recruit new customers this holiday
season. Now is the time to plan and arrange
Most home-based jewelry dealers rely heavily on
recommendations from existing customers for new customers and sales.
Your customer base and sales can be increased
significantly by a little innovative marketing. For instance, organize a
couple of guys-only jewelry parties at friends houses.
Have the host invite his friends. They will become
your customers because you offer good deals (low overhead means low prices on
Your cost for the snacks and drinks should be paid for
with a single sale. Offer the host an incentive... $$ off a piece of
jewelry for him (sell it to him at your cost).
Be The Quality Jewelry Discounter.
Do you enjoy jewelry and gems?
Do you enjoy talking with friends and friends