Jewelry company Stauer is taking heed of a report issued by the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania that offers a dire warning about the future of tanzanite. According to the business school, the world’s supply of this incredibly rare gemstone could be depleted in the next 16 years.
Tanzanite can only be found one place on Earth: the remote Merelani Hills in Tanzania, Africa. “As a result, tanzanite is known as the ‘gemstone of a generation’ because this generation will be the last one able to buy stones from the primary market before the supply is exhausted,” Wharton wrote, adding that “the likelihood of finding tanzanite anywhere else on Earth is one in a million, making it a thousand times rarer than diamonds.”
According to legend, tanzanite was discovered when a lightning bolt struck the foothills of Mount Kilimanjaro and set them ablaze, revealing this beautiful violet-blue gem. When it debuted in 1967, it was a sensation; Henry Platt, president of Tiffany & Co., called it “The most important gemstone discovery in over 2,000 years.”
This remarkably rare and unique stone hasn’t only fetched higher prices at auction than rubies, emeralds and diamonds, but it’s also trichroic, meaning that three different colors are visible when the stone is viewed from different angles.
Both a birthstone for December and a gem used to celebrate 24th anniversaries, tanzanite at times has rivaled the Big Three gems (emeralds, sapphires and rubies) in popularity.
Though supply is limited, Richmond, Virginia-based Stauer is currently offering its Karatu Tanzanite Ring for only $59. Usually, a ring like this would retail for $399, but because the company purchases tanzanite directly from the source and uses its own designers, it can offer this ring for 85% off.
“At Stauer we have always been fascinated by the beautiful and rare, and while we’ve found many treasures over the years, no gem has had an impact on us quite like tanzanite,” says Katie Bisceglia, director of Private Vault merchandising at Stauer.
He added, “We’ve visited the tanzanite mines multiple times which has given us a unique appreciation for just how scarce this gem really is. We’ve worked directly with miners and dealers in Tanzania for years and through these relationships we have been able to secure incredible prices on this increasingly rare gem.”