Here's a rare SHARP, COMPLETE, TERMINATED CRYSTAL of GEMMY, CORN-FLOWER BLUE TANZANITE. This specimen cames from MERLANI, ARUSHA, TANZANIA. This is a TOTALLY NATURAL crystal - unlike the majority of tanazites on the market, it is NOT HEAT-TREATED.
This is a new find which we picked up out in TUCSON this year from one of the gemstone dealers who was set up at the Howard Johnson's show. We got some special treatment when I picked these out: We were invited to go upstairs to a special hospitality suite, and after a confirming phone call, we were personally escorted to the room. After a special knock, we were brought into the room, under the watchful eye of a large, menacing looking man with a noticable lump under his jacket. One side of the room was filled with tables, and displayed on them were gem crystals of all kinds: star sapphires from Ceylon, blood red rubies, and large, expensive blue tanzanite crystals, and more. I was invited to name a price on the entire lot of tanzanite crystals - probably $250,000 worth of gems. I laughed and said I only wanted to pick out a few pieces, which I did. Even though we've been going to Tucson for years, this was a new, intriguing experience for us.
I also learned a lot about recent changes in the tanzanite mines in Tanzania which will greatly impact the price of specimen-quality crystals. In Merlani there are 3 tanzanite concessions which have been leased by the governemnt (these are the only known source of tanzanite in the world). Two of these are now controlled by a huge South African mining company, which is only after the gemstones and is not currently interested in the specimen-quality material. They have consolidated the 2 claims and are mining with the largest mining equipment available (pneumatic drills, 12-yard bucket loaders, enormous mining trucks, etc.). The mine-run ore is all shipped to South Africa, where it is sorted and graded and turned into gemst
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