Ban on Tanzanite export bears fruits

The ban on the export of unpolished tanzanite has started to pay off as investors figure out investing in the country to source the raw material locally.

This came to light over the weekend as the American largest Tanzanite buyer, Morris Gad, through his company of Diamonds International, expressed interest to invest heavily in the country’s gemstone industry.

“In the next two or three months, I would announce a major investment plan in tanzanite industry in Tanzania,” Mr Gad said through a press release sent from Arusha.

The jewelry tycoon said the multi-million-dollar investment would also create “a considerable number of employments to locals.” Mr Gad, Chairman and CEO of Diamonds International, the largest jewelry retailer in the Caribbean, said his venture in Tanzanite precious stone in the country would involve an investment of multi-million-dollars.

He said he would be sourcing the Tanzanite gemstone only in the country and not any other country so that local people can benefit directly.

“My passion is to create employments to Tanzanians as a way to pay back to them for giving us a precious Tanzanite jewel through which we make a fortune,” the Jewish tycoon explained.

Diamond International buys nearly 70 per cent of Tanzanite to sell through its over 140 outlets in the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean, Mr Gad revealed at the end of his three-day business tour of Mererani and Arusha at the weekend.

In 2010, the government, following the Mining Act, banned export of raw tanzanite stones aiming at increasing the contribution of the industry to the economy.

The bluish-hued is 1,000 times rarer than diamonds and mined from the world’s only known deposit, at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s tallest peak. 

The philanthropist also donated 10,000 US dollars (about 16m/-) to Naisinyai and Mtakuja primary schools in Merelani, Simanjiro district in Manyara region to purchase textbooks.

The Tanzanite Mogul said the support was just a beginning, pledging to supply more textbooks to satisfy the knowledge hungry Maasai pupils.

“During our visit to these two schools, we had few text books. When we started giving them the books, every pupil raised a hand demanding a book, showing that these children are hungry for education,” he said.

His daughter, Sara Morris Gad who accompanied his father in Tanzania, said she was eager to understand the story behind Tanzanite gemstone so that she can be able to tell her customers.

“Customers have been asking the story behind the Tanzanite, its origin. So this trip has enabled us to learn,” explained, Sara who is currently championing the Tanzanite ‘Safikilima’ brand roll-out in the world.

Managing director of Signature Gems firm, Sailesh Pandit, the host of Morris Gad said that the Tanzanite Mogul has agreed to support the trade of Tanzanite in Tanzania.
Source: The Daily News,, in Arusha
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