Tanzanite on the Market
Tanzanite is a variety of zoisite (a calcium aluminum hydroxy silicate), with a hardness of 6.5. Tanzanite is officially called blue zoisite, but Tiffany & Co.'s Henry B. Platt, the great-grandson of Louis Comfort Tiffany, coined the term tanzanite, knowing its value and rarity would only increase. The stone was officially launched at Tiffany's in October 1968, with the campaign, Tanzanite is only found in two places in the world: "Tanzania and Tiffany's." Demand is still high today just as in the 1960s, with sales of tanzanite reaching approximately $500 million a year in the US alone!
Tanzania was formed in 1964 from the states Tanganyika and Zanzibar, and is located in central-east Africa. Tanzania is home to the famous Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest peak in Africa, as well as Lake Victoria, Arica's largest lake, and Serengeti National Park.
While it is nowhere near as controlled as diamond, Tanzanite is considered to be the first colored stone whose supply and distribution are controlled similar to the diamond cartel run by DeBeers, which severely limits the amount of diamonds on the market. The Tanzanian government has nationalized the Tanzanite mines, and forbidden the export of rough to India, so that mainly Tanzanians can cut the gems, because India is home one of the largest gemcutting productions in the world. TanzaniteOne is the leading company in Tanzanite production, and is working on increasing its large control over mining, cutting, and distribution of tanzanite.
This cubic zironia matches the color of tanzanite at a mere fraction of the cost.