Feature Gems & Gemology, Summer 1992, Volume 28, No. 2

Gem Wealth of Tanzania

The East African nation of Tanzania has great gem wealth. First known by Westerners for its diamonds, Tanzania emerged in the 1960s as a producer of a great variety of other gems such as tanzanite, ruby, fancy-colored sapphire, garnet, and tourmaline; to date, more than 50 gem species and varieties have been produced. As the 1990s begin, De Beers has reinstated diamond exploration in Tanzania, new gem materials such as transparent green zoisite have appeared on the market, and there is increasing interest in Tanzania's lesser-known gems such as scapolite, spinel, and zircon. This overview describes the main gems and gem resources of Tanzania, and reviews their history, geology, mining, and economic development.