New York: The New York City–based Tanzanite Foundation will cease operations on Aug. 31. Tanzanite Foundation executive director Hayley Henning confirmed to JCK this week that the 11-year-old promotional agency for tanzanite will close at the end of August.
Formed by miner TanzaniteOne, the nonprofit foundation has served all ethical and socially responsible operators and partners in the tanzanite industry, helping to implement standardized methods of practice and conduct and deliver ethically sourced stones to market.
The decision to close was based on economics—tanzanite’s prices have been at all-time lows—as well as poor production, repeated problems with illegal miners and theft, and other factors.
“The Tanzanite Foundation was a pioneer in the gem industry by being the first colored gemstone specific marketing agency, encouraging more designers to work with tanzanite,” explains Henning, who has served the agency for seven years. “Tanzanite is one of the world’s most precious and exotic gems, and despite being a small operation, I’m proud of our accomplishments—not only in promoting tanzanite, but in the social responsibility arena where we’ve made a huge difference to the lives of the local community outside the tanzanite mining area.”
The Tanzanite Foundation has aided countless Tanzanians by raising money to build two schools, an orphanage, and a clinic, as well as providing job opportunities.