Published Articles on Tanzanite
There are quite a number of published articles and papers on the subject of Tanzanite and its place in the gemstone kingdom and markets. We have tried to collate some of these here for ease of reference for those interested in further reading.
Magazine Articles on Tanzanite
Jeweler's Circular Keystone (JCK) Article on the new "Be Born to Tanzanite" Marketing campaign
Tanzanite on the News
Tanzanite News Articles No Longer Available Online
1. Title: Tanzanite, a Violet-Blue Gem From East Africa, Is So Hot It Is the First Gem Added to the Birthstone List Since 1912.
Date: 11/06/2002; Publication: PR Newswire
DALLAS -- Among the important gems discovered in the last 90 years, only one has been added to the official birthstone list: Tanzanite, a violetish-blue gem that often resembles fine sapphire.
Tanzanite has been adopted as a December birthstone by the American Gem Trade Association)and shares its last-month-of-the-year membership with turquoise and zircon.
"Affordability and distinctive beauty have earned this gem a status that rivals sapphire's," says Douglas Hucker, AGTA's executive director.
Discovered in Tanzania in the mid-1960s, tanzanite is mined only in the large hilltop area where it was first found. To honor its single-source availability, Tiffany & Co., which introduced tanzanite to the world in 1968, named it after its East African birthplace.
"Although the Tiffany & Co. connection gained the newcomer worldwide publicity, tanzanite has won international popularity on its own merits in the last decade," Hucker says.
Depending on whether it is cut to emphasize its blue or violet color component, tanzanite can resemble the finest royal-blue sapphire or hint at amethyst. Such color versatility has endeared this member of the zoisite family to leading jewelry designers in America, Europe and Japan.
"Once tanzanite became a staple gem, and once supplies showed no sign of letting up, it seemed as worthy of membership on the birthstone list as aquamarine and sapphire, the birthstones for March and September," says Hucker. "All of the major industry associations agreed that the public would respond positively to a dynamic new birthstone choice for December."
True, but amending the birthstone list is like amending the Constitution. There's got to be compelling reason and wide support. The last time the birthstone list was revised was 1912, when jewelry industry leaders met to give gems discovered since the formulation of the traditional list a shot at birthstone status.
"Only a few newcomer gems like alexandrite made the 1912 list," says Hucker. "That tanzanite has been given birthstone status shows the degree to which this gem is revered by the trade and public alike."
COPYRIGHT 2002 PR Newswire Association, Inc.
2. Title: Tanzanite price on world market triples in three years.
Date: 3/24/2005; Publication: Xinhua News Agency;
DAR ES SALAAM, Mar 24, 2005 (Xinhua via COMTEX)
The global market price of tanzanite, a gemstone produced only in Tanzania, has surged by more than three times in the past three years.
According to sale indexes available here on Thursday, the price of top quality or the triple-A grade tanzanite, has currently jumped to around 600 US dollars per gram from about 180 dollars per gram three years ago.
The deep blue gemstone, which was introduced to the world in 1960s and had been once confused with blue sapphire, is now one of the most sought after precious stones to be sold in Tanzania where in responding to the hike of global prices, most of its local retail dealers increase their spot prices by almost 25 percent every half a year.
Discovered at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro by a Masai tribe man by accident in the year 1964, tanzanite has become popular since later last century after some world-class jewelers promoted it on the world market.
The gemstone, which is only found within an area of no more than 10 sq. km in northern Tanzania and is predicted to be exhausted by the year 2020, fetched some 100 million US dollars on the world market each year.
A tanzanite of good quality after cutting shows mixed hue of deep blue and purple. The color is at its best when a stone is at least four carats in size.
Copyright 2005 XINHUA NEWS AGENCY.
3. Title: Tanzanite. (Stone Of The Moment)
Date: 12/01/2005; Publication: W; Author: Baker, Ashley
In 1967, a Masai tribesman noticed an azure flicker in the ground during a routine day herding cattle. That indigo light turned out to be tanzanite, a variety of the mineral zoisite. One thousand times rarer than diamond, the stone boasts an exceptional ability to exude blue, violet, wine-red and green hues. Formed 585 million years ago, the tanzanite stone bed resulted from an unusual chemical reaction beneath the earth's surface in the Merelani region of Tanzania. Upon its discovery in Africa, Tiffany & Co. was instrumental in bringing it to the United States, introducing a full collection of tanzanite jewelry in 1968. Today, jewelers like Shaun Leane are reveling in the gem's fluorescence, using the largest specimens available to capture its wide-ranging spectrum. But designers will have to get it while they can. It is estimated that the supply will be exhausted by about 2050.
Masai chief are known to give their wives raw tanzanite upon the birth of a child in hopes of ensuring a healthy and successful life.
In its raw form, tanzanite is trichroic, which means that it radiates an entirely different color from each of its three axes.
In 2005, Tiffany & Co. designed one of the largest pieces of tanzanite jewelry in the world: a 233.96-carat stone fashioned into a $400,000 branch surrounded by platinum and diamonds.
According to Masai lore, tanzanite was created when a bolt of lightning set the land ablaze and turned the stones within a brilliant shade of blue.
Although tanzanite is technically the birthstone of December, its general popularity has led to its marketing as the universal birthstone.
COPYRIGHT 2005 Fairchild Publications, Inc.
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