In the latest bit of progress with implementing the Tucson Tanzanite Protocols, “the Tanzanian government has agreed to implement the certificate of origin,” says Mike O’Keefe, US Department of State desk officer for Tanzania and Madagascar.
“The proposed certificate utilizes the language that Cecilia Gardner proposed,” says O’Keefe. “And that’s a big step.”
With this certificate of origin, the importer can trace the gems back to their source. This will help protect the reputation of the gems and dealers that agree to accept only warranted goods, O’Keefe says. However, in order to control all exports, the mining area of Mererani still needs to be fenced off.
“It’s roughly two square kilometers,” says O’Keefe, which he says is quite do-able. “Right now, AFGEM is pretty well fenced in,” which leaves three of the four blocks of the mine site left to be contained.