Chanthaburi . 2009-12-10
The return of tanzanite
Tanzanite is back, wounded but back in town. This unique gemstone from Tanzania has survived hardships both physically, like mining floods and verbally as in scathing press releases from the Wall Street Journal and its followers
Tanzanite is back, wounded but back in town. This unique gemstone from Tanzania has survived hardships both physically, like mining floods and verbally as in scathing press releases from the Wall Street Journal and its followers. In Dubai, the gemstone's main prospective market, economic debt restructuring has added to the slowdown of American jewelry buying.
The TanzaniteOne company, controlling the lion's share of the production, anticipated some blows by reducing smoothly its workforce while increasing production but still faces tough times.
In Chanthaburi, tanzanite, has traditionally been very expensive, available only in big sizes or small calibrated cuts. The price has steadily risen, but no longer.
Small scale independent miners have found in the vicinity of the TanzaniteOne extraction site their share of this precious gem as well, but at the cost of many lives. It's believed they may have dug under in TanzaniteOne property.
Some of the company sightholders which stockpiled material, have now the need to raise cash to cover possible real estate losses.
Some changes in the company selling policy also affected supply: tanzanite is now sold directly to some jewelers. And so our market has benefited from these new channels.
In the last six months we have seen the arrival of tanzanite in all qualities and sizes. Selling prices have been cut by more than half compared with one year ago. A lot of the material is of middle to good quality but exceptional pieces have also been seen.
As supply seems to be stable, some gemstones dealers are starting to stock again this very attractive and rare stone.
Source : Roger Pingley
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