For the first time ever, tanzanite (blue zoisite), found only in the Merelani Hills of Tanzania, has been offered to sightholders in a De Beers–like manner. The sight took place April 16, through TanzaniteOne, the mining company that owns the rights to most of the tanzanite in Merelani. Seven tanzanite firms were invited to participate. Each received a box of graded rough specifically predetermined for the particular company.
Among the seven sightholders that would allow JCK to publish their activity are Rare Multicolor Gems, STS Jewels, Tanzanite International, K.L. Tambi & Company, the Tanzanite Co., and Color Jewels.
Ashish Dangayach of Color Jewels, New York, is elated. “It’s quite an accomplishment being a sightholder,” says Dangayach. “This is the first time there has been anything like this in the color-gemstone trade.”
Sunil Agrawal of STS Jewels, New York, points to stability as a positive factor in TanzaniteOne’s private sights. “The sightholder arrangement for distribution of tanzanite by TanzaniteOne is a good step in ensuring the stability of prices and continuous availability.”
“We are very happy to be sightholders,” says Ram Khatoria of Rare Multicolor Gems. “With the consistent supply of rough, we can better serve this industry.” Stability in the price also offers stability to the market, he notes.
“The process of TanzaniteOne’s sight is quite similar to that of De Beers’,” notes Dangayach. “You get a preassigned box of graded rough.” For Color Jewels, there is no question regarding quality or quantity, since, as Dangayach notes, they can move a great deal of tanzanite.
Jason Krause, spokesperson for The Tanzanite Co. of Johannesburg, South Africa, says their association will ensure that they have a more consistent supply of graded rough at appropriate prices. “This is critical to TTC,” says Krause, “as we strive to be the world’s preferred supplier of tanzanite.”
Agrawal also recognizes TanzaniteOne’s mandate to support tanzanite. “Promotion by TanzaniteOne will only help in increasing the awareness of this fabulous gemstone with consumers.” TanzaniteOne’s nonprofit Tanzanite Foundation will take on the responsibility of stimulating the growth and development of the tanzanite industry as well as safeguard its integrity.