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Day 1: Where to Buy Tanzanite in Tanzania

April 02, 2018

Steve Moriarty is back in Tanzania! Steve is the owner of TanzaniteJewelryDesigns.com and the retail store Moriarty's Gem Art, located in Crown Point, IN. Every couple of years Steve travels to Tanzania in search of Tanzanite. He loves not only the Tanzanite hunting, but the people, the country and the culture. I, Jeff Moriarty, his son, was hoping to go with him this year, but due to work (elsewhere) I was unable to. I promise to do this trip one day, so instead I will be re-living this trip with you, the reader, through this blog!

This trip is different though. He has brought along Matt Bigelow, a professional photographer and close friend to the family. This means you are going to get an up-close-and-personal view of what really happens and how far Steve is willing to travel to get the most beautiful Tanzanite you have ever seen. Throughout the next days of blog posts, you will get close eyed view of Steve and Matt's travels through Tanzania. See what they see. Meet who they meet. Learn what Tanzanite looks like in it's raw, rough form.


After 18 hours of flying, 5 hours or layovers and almost no sleep, Steve and Matt arrive in Tanzania. Steve has done this before, but for Matt, this is the furthest he has traveled but is going strong. But first things first...time for breakfast. This isn't your normal American breakfast eh?

After breakfast they planned on scoping out some local spots in town (They are staying in Arusha, Tanzania right now), get some coffee to drink (going to be a long day!) and set up some meetings with local contacts in the Tanzanite mining industry to start some gemstone buying.

One thing you have to get used to while traveling in Tanzania or any other country are the locals. When you are one of the few white people in town, many like to chat, but many also like to try to sell you things. Whether it be pushing to local markets, or selling different items or safaris, you can get it all. Always nice talking with them though.

One great thing about traveling to Tanzania or any other country (where it puts you out of your comfort zone) are the markets. So interesting to see what other countries and people sell. You can really find some unique items to bring back for gifts or just things for yourself. Here are some pictures from markets and random people they met with shops in Tanzania.

The first day was mainly about making contacts and checking out what was going on locally in the area. We would be in buying mode in the days to come. After a long and tiring day, Steve headed back to the hotel to rest, while Matt Bigelow decided to to some exploring and meet the people of Tanzania. These are some great shots he took. Expect more amazing shots from Matt Bigelow in upcoming posts and even more information about buying Tanzanite in Tanzania.

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