February 02, 2019

Steve Moriarty discuss the new wall put up around the Tanzanite mines in Tanzania and the effect it has on the value and availability of Tanzanite.


Hi, I'm Steve Moriarty, from Moriarty's Gem Art in Crown Point, and we're also available online as tanzanitejewelrydesigns.com.

A little about what's going on in Tanzania with the Tanzanite. Early last year, the new president of Tanzania decided it was time to slow down the illegal exports of rough out of Tanzania, and keep the labor there in the country with particularly the cutting of Tanzanite. And to do that, they send in the military and they built a 23 kilometer wall all the way around the Tanzanite mining area. Then they were to build a bank within the wall, and so all transactions would take place within the Tanzanite mining area. This put a lot of fear in my mind that the availability of Tanzanite would be much more difficult because much of the material, probably 80% of all the material is cut in India, not in Tanzania, so I assume that the market would be heat disrupted. But I've not found that to be the case. Some disruption, difficulty in getting some smaller goods for me and at times material hasn't been available, but over the last year I've been able to get what I needed. Although the prices have increased somewhat, small goods are up maybe 20%, the larger goods a little less, but all are definitely higher priced and I expect that prices will continue to rise.

What we managed to get today is this fine selection of stones. These Tanzanites up front are anywhere from two to four carat sizes and just some beautiful colors. Very strong dichroic colors showing good blues and good purples in different lights. These larger stones go from 20 to 30 carat. And again, just really beautiful stones. And if you look at some of these like this stone, you see it in incandescent lighting just as a really strong purples with red flash, and then when you go to daylight you get that beautiful blue color. It's a nice square cushion, this oval, very similar.

We have a good supply available, price is up a little and we expect them to keep increasing, hopefully not too much. But with this disruption in the market, we can expect some price increases. We've been lucky to get this material, and it'll be available online soon at tanzanitejewelrydesigns.com and here in our store at Moriarty's Gem Art in Crown Point.

I'm Steve Moriarty. Thanks for watching.

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