Day 5: Tanzanite Buying in Arusha, Tanzania

by Steve Moriarty March 30, 2018 1 Comment

Steve Moriarty (owner of Moriarty's Gem Art and this website) along with Matt Bigelow (professional photographer and family friend) have been in Tanzania now for 5 days. Miss Day 4? They have traveled to the mines, visited with tribes and have been buying Tanzanite from dealers. What they have learned over the past few days is that buying has been pretty scarce around the mines and other areas in Tanzania. So for the next couple days they decided to stay in Arusha and do some Tanzanite buying from the local dealers in the area. Not only would this save them time, the risk of not finding something is far lower.

MEETING WITH LOCAL DEALERS

The first local dealer they met up with invited them in. There was a large security guard at the entrance, who led them up some steps to another door, which was guarded by another person. That security guard signals to the surveillance camera overhead and a buzz sound unlocks the latch, and then he head down another hallway. At the end of the hallway, they entered another gated room, which was the dealers office...wow a lot to get through to talk to a dealer!

Matt noted that as intimidating as this place was, the dealer was super nice (above).

The first thing they noticed when entering the room was a ton of large rocks. Matt couldn't believe this place was still standing with amount of weight from rocks on this floor. Steve told Matt that these were large chunks of ruby in zoisite. What is Ziozite? Zoisite is actually the parent to tanzanite and is basically the same mineral.  The only big difference is that zoisite is green, while tanzanite is blue.

STEVE DIVES RIGHT IN

So Steve Moriarty dove right into what he does best, buying gemstones. Now as great as this dealer was, his selection wasn't anything unique. Steve only looks for the highly quality Tanzanite. He wants to bring back stones that are unusual and incredibly beautiful. Nothing this dealer had met his expectations.

But...by the end of this long meeting, Steve was able to grab up some amazing colored Tanzanite gemstones. You might only be used to blue or purple. Get ready for some amazing colors that Steve is bringing back!

DEALER #2 IN ARUSHA

As soon as Steve and Matt were finished here, they moved on to the next local dealer in Arusha. The nice thing about meeting local dealers, no need for a taxi, just a peaceful stroll down the street to do some more buying.

Now Matt noted that this is was 'funkiest' office yet. It was very small, cramped and almost no room to lay out any gemstones to look at. How was Steve going to handle this one? Well this dealer only had a few pieces to offer and the prices were way too high...so Steve and Matt were out of there within 15min. Here are some pictures Matt took of this funky office.

AT THE END OF THE DAY, MATT AND STEVE MET BACK AT SUNI'S OFFICE TO COME UP WITH A GAME PLAN FOR DAY 6.

Steve Moriarty
Steve Moriarty

Steve Moriarty has been in the jewelry industry for over 30 years. Steve is not only a jeweler, but a gem cutter and designer. He has traveled the world in search of gemstone rough and has owned a retail jewelry store for 20 years located in Crown Point, Indiana.


1 Response

Jacob
Jacob

January 07, 2019

Good day,
My wife and I are planning to travel to Arusha and would like to get some Tanazanite while there. It appears you have a vast experience with this process. I was hoping you could point me in the right direction. Do you know any dealers/stores in Arusha selling precut stones? Can you give me their names?

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