February 8, 2002
Tanzanite Meeting Scheduled for Feb. 9
Representatives from all segments of the tanzanite industry will meet during the Tucson gem shows Feb. 9 at 9 a.m. to consider measures that will ensure the legitimacy of the gem's supply chain and protect it from criminal abuse.
Allegations by The Wall St. Journal and other news organizations that terrorist network al Qaeda dealt in tanzanite have rocked the trade. Despite little hard evidence that the links are real, several large retailers, including QVC, Tiffany & Co. and Zale Corp. stopped selling tanzanite.
The American Gem Trade Association, Jewelers of America and the Jewelers Vigilance Committee are working to create a system to track tanzanite sales from the source in Tanzania to remove doubts about trade practices.
The meeting will be attended by miners, gemstone dealers, manufacturers, suppliers and retail jewelers, say the trade organizations sponsoring it. Government representatives from Tanzania and the U.S. will attend also. The U.S. accounts for 80% of world tanzanite sales.
by Peggy Jo Donahue