Tanzanite, 50 Years Later


Tanzanite brooch, Tiffany & Co. (Photo: Tanzanite Foundation)

From: The New York Times

By Melanie Abrams

May 10, 2018

When Tiffany & Company introduced tanzanite in 1968, the company was sure the semiprecious stone would be successful. (“Tanzanite is the first transparent deep blue gemstone to be discovered in more than 2,000 years,” a Tiffany vice president told a Times reporter the next year.)

But no one anticipated the creativity that it would still be inspiring.

Named for Tanzania, where the only mine still operates, tanzanite’s allure lies in its colors, including green, red, purple and blue, “depending on which angle you look at it,” said Melvyn Kirtley, Tiffany’s chief gemologist and vice president for global category management including high jewelry.

The new gemstone had an enormous effect on the house’s design style in the ’60s, Mr. Kirtley said, turning it from simple gold jewelry to colorful designs with large stones. Cases in point: Donald Claflin’s ornate 1968 diamond floral brooch with an 84-carat tanzanite and, in 1969, Jean Schlumberger’s fantastical winged-bird pin with diamonds, sapphires, rubies, a cabochon emerald and a large tanzanite as its stomach.

For the stone’s 50th anniversary with Tiffany, Reed Krakoff, the house’s chief artistic officer, has showcased it in two new Paper Flower collections introduced in the United States this month and at Harrods in London on June 21, then across Britain in July. The high jewelry earrings echo the colors of an iris with tanzanites ranging from soft blue to violet and blue sapphires; in fine jewelry, tanzanites accentuate abstract blossom designs.

Debuting at the Cannes Film Festival this week, Chopard’s latest Red Carpet collection includes a multistone choker with six tiers of tanzanite beads and a blue titanium-edged pink ceramic disc with a 12.4-carat pear-shaped aquamarine that “give a modern twist,” Caroline Scheufele, Chopard’s artistic director and co-president, said in an email.


The color also is an important element for Alice Cicolini, a jeweler based in London, who said she played “with the idea of tanzanite as a color pop.” She placed tanzanite beads on either side of the orange lacquered sphere in her multistone Candy Kimono Nibble necklace “to bring attention to the center of the necklace.”

She also added a tanzanite briolette to her blue topaz, sapphire and lapis lazuli chandelier earrings. “It adds movement between the flowers,” Ms. Cicolini said, “and that extra layer of articulation, and because the thing that is articulating has such a vibrant color, hopefully it catches the eye more.”

Annoushka Ducas, creative director of her namesake brand, has included tanzanite and diamond earrings and rings in her new Imperial collection, inspired by the Russian kokoshnik headdress. “I use it quite a lot with brown diamonds as I like the not-so-bling look and the softness of the brown and the blue working together,” she said. “If you set tanzanite with brilliant white diamonds, it has a colder more ostentatious effect, whereas with brown it’s more low-key and everyday.”

The Brazilian designer Yael Sonia captured a tanzanite gem in the black rhodium-plated openwork cage of her Perpetual Motion series. “The black rhodium cube makes the tanzanite edgy, and the tanzanite softens the black rhodium,” she said.

More literal uses of the stone’s blue tones have been made by the Canadian jeweler Holly Dyment, who created the iris in her evil eye ringswith tanzanite. And Wendy Yue, a Hong Kong designer, adorned a snake’s head with a triangular tanzanite for her new necklace, which has a matching ring.

Although tanzanites can be worn in everyday jewelry, they are not as hard as diamonds or rubies, so designers use various methods to protect the stones. After Mimi So, a New York jewelry designer, had 120 tanzanite beads threaded individually to create the tassel for a necklace, she strategically placed 18-karat gold flowers accented with diamonds or emeralds at the top of the grouping, helping them to move freely. The Taiwanese designer Anna Hu set a 102.15-carat tanzanite on her multistone pendant brooch with invisible bezel prongs — a secure yet delicate way to set the stone — so “all you can see are the vibrant colors,” she said.

Wallace Chan, a Hong Kong jeweler known for his innovation, creates extra-soft tools for his work with tanzanite. They include a polishing wheel made with leather from a sheep’s belly for the 15.90-carat tanzanite adorning his multistone Bridging Dreams ring, “to buff out the micro scratches on the gemstone to perfect its finish,” he said in an email.

Experts disagree on how soon the world’s supply of tanzanite will be exhausted, with some saying it is almost mined out. But some designers are still discovering the gemstone — “to keep a step ahead,” said Ana Khouri, a New York-based designer who was adding tanzanites to her ear pieces, including a new white-gold-and-diamond ear crawler with pink, green and blue tanzanites.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page S4 in The International New York Times.

ICA Joins Certification Initiative for Colored Gems Apr 12, 2013 7:38 AM By Jeff Miller


Source: Rapaport

Author: Jeff Miller

RAPAPORT… The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) joined a United Nations (UN) initiative to assist in developing a mechanism to trace and certify gemstones from their country of origin. The United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI) in cooperation with the Vienna International Justice Institute and ICA hosted stakeholders in Turin on April 9 and 10 to review case studies and begin to establish governance for tracking and certifying colored gems.

UNICRI contended that the global colored stone industry, which accounts for $10 billion to $12 billion per year, is extremely fragmented with a high degree of opacity. The easy portability of these stones provide a lucrative stream of revenue for organized criminal groups, but with a certification scheme, the UNICRI would establish a tracking system for colored gems which would be tied back to improvements in environmental, social and security measures, according to the groups.

Participants included representatives of jewelry brands as well as government stakeholders from Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Mozambique, Sri Lanka and Tanzania. Brazil and South Africa detailed case studies related to their colored gemstone industry and precious metals supply chain.

ICA’s president, Wilson Yuen, addressed participants as an industry representative. “In the present context, tracking gemstones from their geographical origin with a realistic approach is an opportunity for the public sector, the gems and jewelry industry and the civil society to address together social, technical and environmental issues as well as illicit and criminal practices threatening our sector. This will undoubtedly enhance the transparency of the distribution chain and benefit all the stakeholders from mine to market and build up consumer confidence,” said Yuen.

TanzaniteOne 1Q Production +8%, Sales +48%

We publish courtesy of Rapaport 

Author: Jeff Miller 

TanzaniteOne Limited produced 609,737 carats of tanzanite during the first quarter, representing a year on year increase of 8 percent. Sales rose 48 percent to  $3.96 million and TanzaniteOne recovered a remarkable  12,100-carat stone, the third largest mined in the history of the company.

In other news, TanzaniteOne noted the departure of its chief operating officer,   Zane Swanepoel. The specialty miner also stated that it is progressing  towards achieving its 2011 development goals  and  plans to appoint a new general manager for mining shortly.

TanzaniteOne’s chief executive Bernard Olivier said, ”During the quarter we have achieved an increase in production, grade and sales compared with same period last year. We have also achieved a maiden JORC compliant inferred and indicated resource at our Tsavorite project, which we are now completing a second phase of pilot sampling on.

”I would like to take this opportunity to thank Zane Swanepoel for all his efforts and hard work during his time with us. We have a highly experienced management team including an extensive team of highly proficient technical personnel on the ground in Tanzania who along with the company directors will lead the next phase of growth and development,” concluded Olivier.

Tanzania: Gemstone Show Pushed Back

We publish courtesy of AllAfrica

A GEMSTONE exhibition that was earlier planned to be held in Arusha next month has been postponed to next year, the organizers said on Tuesday.

Tanzania Mineral Dealers Association (TAMIDA) Chairman Sammy Mollel said that the event collided with the International Coloured Gemstone Association (ICA) congress slated for Brazil.

“After consultations with stakeholders including buyers and exhibitors, we have agreed that the event pushed back to May, next year,” he said.

He said that it would be impossible for exhibitors and buyers to attend the two events at the same time. The 2011 ICA Congress will address ethical mining and fair trade and the growing importance in the gem and jewellery industry.

It will also feature a mini-trade show and will be followed by an ICA mine tour. The exhibition was scheduled to be held at Mount Meru Hotel. Previously, the fair was held at the same venue for nine consecutive years before it was suspended in 1998, due to gemstones license abuses.

The abuse saw traders exporting uncut stones, leading to buyers to see no logic of coming to the country to buy the raw gems. The organizers say that the exhibition was to feature displays of different types of gemstones.

Mr Mollel said buyers from Bangladesh, Malaysia has already confirmed coming for the show.

The Ministry of Energy and Minerals estimates that the previous gemstone exhibitions used to

generate up to 600,000 US dollars (about 900m/-) annually.



TanzaniteOne eyeing tsavorite mine in Tanzania

We publish courtesy of National Jeweler

Arusha, Tanzania—TanzaniteOne Limited, the world’s largest miner and supplier of rough tanzanite, is working toward opening a tsavorite mine not far from its existing mining operation.

Earlier this month, the company announced its first Joint Ore Reserve Committee (JORC) compliant Resources Statement for the tsavorite project in the Manyara region of northeast Tanzania, about 20 kilometers (about 12.5 miles) from its tanzanite mine. The project has a total indicated resource of 1.4 to 3.5 million carats of tsavorite.

“Having successfully delineated a maiden resource to JORC compliant standards, we shall now work towards establishing an economic model for a potential tsavorite mine. We expect to provide a further resource update during the second quarter of 2011 following the next phase of the bulk sampling program scheduled in the coming months,” TanzaniteOne Chief Executive Officer Bernard Olivier said in news release.

Another resource statement on the project is expected in the second quarter of 2011, after the company does it second phase of bulk sampling. The current statement is based on work conducted up to Dec. 29 and covers about 50 percent of the project.

A brilliant green gemstone, tsavorite is a variety of grossular garnet first discovered in 1968 in Lemshuku, Tanzania. In 1974, Tiffany & Co. introduced this gemstone to the world, dubbing it “tsavorite” after the nearby Tsavo National Park game reserve in Kenya. The per-carat price of tsavorite is about two to four times higher than tanzanite but roughly a quarter the price of an emerald.

Mining firms reject Tanzania’s new mining law

The following brief is published courtesy of Mineweb

Image courtesy of tmaa.go.tz

In a joint statement through the Tanzania Chamber of Minerals and Energy, investors described the legislation as ‘distorted’ and warned it would curtail future investment.

Author: Fumbuka Ng’wanakilala (Reuters)

DAR ES SALAAM (Reuters) – 

Mining companies on Wednesday rejected a new law in Tanzania that raises royalties on minerals and prohibits foreign companies from gemstone mining, saying it would further erode investor confidence.

In a joint statement issued through the Tanzania Chamber of Minerals and Energy, investors described the legislation as “distorted,” saying it would curtail future mining projects in east Africa’s second biggest economy.

“(The bill) … will only serve to hinder further growth of the mining sector as existing investors resort to curtailing existing and expansion projects and is bound to scare potential investors who will look elsewhere to invest,” said the chamber.

The Tanzania Chamber of Minerals and Energy represents the interests of international and local investors in the sector.

Mining companies said they hoped to convince the government to amend the new law before it receives presidential assent, as it would have “serious repercussions” on the industry.

Tanzania is Africa’s third largest gold producer after South Africa and Ghana, but also has reserves of uranium, nickel and coal. Gold exports alone earned it $1.076 billion in 2009, up from $932.4 million the previous year.

The Mining Act 2010 passed by parliament on April 23 increases the royalties paid on minerals such as gold to 4 percent from 3 percent and requires mining companies to list on the Dar es Salaam Stock Exchange.

It also says the Tanzanian government will own a stake in future mining projects and the country will no longer issue gemstone mining licences to foreign firms.

“The Bill fails to appreciate that Tanzania’s desire to become the preferred destination for mineral exploration and investments demands that it becomes significantly competitive vis-a-vis other countries in attracting FDI into the mining and all other sectors,” the chamber said.


Tanzanian Deputy Minister for Energy and Minerals, Adam Kighoma Ali Malima, said the new legislation was aimed at ensuring Tanzanians benefited from the mining sector.

“This law was not enacted simply with the aim of pleasing investors … it was passed by parliament last week with the goal of safeguarding the interests of Tanzanians in the country’s mining activities,” he told Reuters by phone.

He said the chamber had been involved in the dialogue about the new law for more than a year before it was passed.

“I consider statements by the chamber of minerals that the new mining law is distorted are outright irresponsible. The problem is you can’t have everything, they are almost behaving like a spoilt child,” he said.

African Barrick Gold has four gold mines in Tanzania while Australia’s third largest gold miner, Resolute Mining and South Africa’s Anglogold Ashanti also have gold operations there.

British mining company African Eagle is raising funds for its nickel project in Tanzania.

The chamber also said the law did not nail down fiscal and regulatory frameworks for the sector, thus “further eroding investor confidence in making long-term investment decisions.”

They said that while the law was designed to clear up the imbalances and uncertainties of the past, it had just created “more imbalances, uncertainty, insecurity and instability to both existing and prospecting investors.”

Gemstones identified by the new law include diamonds, tanzanite, emerald, ruby, sapphire, turquoise and topaz. The chamber said Tanzanians already dominated the sub-sector and the law would just deny it meaningful investment and modernisation.

Government officials said agreements with AIM-listed miner Petra Diamonds, which owns a 75 percent stake in Tanzania’s Williamson diamond mine, and gemstone producer Tanzanite One, will not be affected by the new rules.

© Thomson Reuters 2010 All rights reserved

New mining and rough gemstone export legislation passed in Tanzania

This could lead to Jaipur facing raw material shortage

Courtesy of: Diamond World

Recently, the parliament of Tanzania took a decision to ban export of rough gemstones from Tanzania, reports say. The purpose behind this move is to develop a cutting and polishing industry in Tanzania itself and boost local employment. The gemstones under purview of the new legislation include diamonds, tanzanite, emeralds, rubies, sapphires, turquoise, topaz and others, reports add. At the parliament session, William Ngeleja – Minister of Energy and Minerals said that the decision followed a long drawn discussion on this bill, and has finally been passed.

Under the revised legislation, the mining of gemstones will be reserved for locals; foreigners are required to enter into joint ventures with Tanzanian nationals; it is mandatory for mining contracts to be reviewed every five years, with specific areas set aside by the government to avert recurring conflicts with big miners. Also, Tanzania will not issue new gemstone mining licenses to foreign companies. Current agreements with foreign mining companies remain unchanged. Gemstone producer Tanzanite One (TNZ.L), will not be affected by the new ownership rules.

This new legislation will bear heavy on the Jaipur gemstone industry. Today, cutting and polishing of tanzanite is a major business for the Jaipur gemstone industry, which procures all the rough from Tanzania – the only source for tanzanite.

Rajiv Jain, Vice-chairman, GJEPC, said, “We know that this kind of bill has been passed. The talks at the higher government level have already been initiated and we are trying to find the best possible solution for the trade of Jaipur”.

Jagdish Tambi, KL Tambi & Co., Jaipur, said, “I am hearing about this and I hope that some solution should come out for the same. The Tanzania government is expecting to get employment there but currently it is not possible to cut and polish the gemstone in Tanzania. The tanzanite one sight holders would be benefited from this as the company has a license to export and the new laws are not applicable on them . But this would definitely make the shortage of the raw material, which is anyway tough to procure.”

Sanjay Phophalia, United Jewellers, Jaipur said, “I am aware of this bill but there are lot of uncertainties which would be clear in the due course of time. This should be taken care at the government level and the Ministry should try and help the trade of Jaipur, as the policy if applied could negatively affect the Jaipur manufacturing trade.” Inviato dal dispositivo wireless BlackBerry®