Press Release

Tanzanite: Facts, Fairytales & Fakes

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Image by Robert Weldon. Copyright GIA.

GIA’s gemstone gathering in Thailand on Sept. 25

Fewer than fifty years ago, a gem described as vivid blue zoisite was discovered near Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Jeffery Bergman, founder and director of Primagem, will discuss how this rare gem – known today as tanzanite – quickly gained popularity in the global consumer market during GIA’s (Gemological Institute of America) Gemstone Gathering in Bangkok on Sept. 25.
Prized for its strong trichroism (exhibiting three colors from three different angles), exceptional clarity and generous sizes, tanzanite has become a well-known and popular gemstone since its discovery in 1967. Bergman’s three-part presentation will open by exploring the history, geology and gemology of this popular gemstone. He will then discuss rumors surrounding new treatments, and review tanzanite imitations and how to detect them.
Bergman, an American gem dealer with more than 40 years of experience in fine jewelry and gem mining, cutting, wholesaling and retailing, is the founder and director of Primagem in Thailand. His career has taken him to more than 50 countries and every continent except Antarctica. He has appeared on the BBC, CNN, NBC, ABC and GEO, and has been featured in Time, USA Today, National Geographic, Gems & Gemology and Discovery Channel magazine. He is a regular guest speaker at gem lab seminars and gemological association conferences and universities.
GIA’s Gemstone Gathering, a free event, begins at 6 p.m. on September 25 in the “Crowne Room 1-3” on the 21st floor of the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Lumpini Park in Bangkok.

About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Cut, Clarity and Carat Weight in the early 1950s and in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which, today, is recognized by virtually every professional jeweler in the world.
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services, and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science, and professionalism.