In a recent press release, International Colored Stones Association (ICA) president Israel Eliezri says that he has personally communicated with the Tanzanian minister of Energy and Resources, E.D. Maokola-Majogo, who reassures him that almost all tanzanite is sold to licensed gemstone dealers and exported through formal channels. “Every shipment is examined by government officials,” according to the release. “Every shipment is stamped with a government seal and then issued with an official export permit,” the minister stated. A recent Wall Street Journal report contradicts this statement, however.
At press time, Peoples and Birks in Canada had joined QVC, Tiffany & Co., and Zales in suspending all sales of tanzanite until the industry has more assurance that tanzanite is not being used to fund terrorist activities.