Tanzanite, the “gemstone of a generation,” will soon come to an end. Tanzanite mines are close to depletion. This generation will most likely be the last one able to buy newly mined tanzanite.
In fact, as the gemstone becomes more scarce, the independent miners who once busily dug for tanzanite have started to give up on finding more of the rare stone. Many have drifted away to pursue other, more readily available gemstones elsewhere. In 2014, Richland Resources sold TanzaniteOne, the largest commercial tanzanite mining operation, to turn its attention to more profitable ventures. It is clear that they have seen the research: the remaining tanzanite supply is running dangerously low.
Investors have enjoyed the rising price of tanzanite in the past, which had previously grown at a rate of 400%. Now that the mines are emptying out, another spike in price is expected in the near future. Investors have said that the time to buy tanzanite is now. The current price of tanzanite generally falls between $550 and $700 per carat, and is expected to go up to $1,000 in a relatively short amount of time.
Though tanzanite is quite rare, it is a surprisingly new find. The gemstone was discovered in 1967 in the city of Mererani, Tanzania. Located in the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro, this small region is the only known source of tanzanite. The extremely tiny area where the gem has been mined is only one and a half square miles. Analysis of the composition and properties of tanzanite have led experts to conclude that the creation of this beautiful stone has not been replicated anywhere else on earth.
Tanzanite ranges in color from blue to violet, with the deepest color stones considered the most valuable. Due to its crystalline structure, it can appear to show different colors when it is viewed in different directions, displaying an array of blue and violet hues or even flashes of red when it is rocked back and forth. The supply of darker, more valuable stones is expected to be depleted long before mining ceases altogether, making these gemstones some of the rarest.
The effect of a dwindling supply of tanzanite on the market is already being felt. With demand rising above the availability of new, high-quality stones, prices have begun to rise. This trend of rising prices will only increase as extraction of any remaining stones in Tanzania becomes more difficult. While consumers in the past have enjoyed relatively low prices for beautiful specimens of tanzanite, it will soon be nearly impossible to find tanzanite of good quality at anything other than premium prices.
Opportunities to invest in tanzanite at attractive prices still exist. Hard to find in stores, many quality stones can be found at auctions. Those auctions specializing in seized assets and estate sales in particular, such as sites like AuctionKing.com, have high grade tanzanite. Although tanzanite production is coming to a close, it isn’t too late to invest in one of these uniquely beautiful gems.