Doomed by the crack… to your wallet

March 29, 2011

Hey folks, thanks for joining me for another blog of the Gem Cutter’s Corner. I’ll be explaining the meaning of the title momentarily.  But, before I get too deep into it, I must digress into a historical introduction about the gem stone which happens to be the primary focus of this edition – the Tanzanite.

The stone was discovered in the Mererani Hills of Northern Tanzania in 1967 by a guy named D’Souza who then showed the stones to a geological consultant  named John Saul. At first, Saul (who later discovered a huge ruby deposit in Kenya) thought the mineral was a Peridot, but then he quickly changed his mind and send it to his pops, Hyman Saul, in New York (Who was conveniently the vice president of Saks Fifth Ave). Hyman scratched his head a bit and gave up and sent the stone to the ‘Gemological  Institute of America’ or ‘G.I.A.’, who correctly identified the new gem as a variety of the mineral zoisite.  Originally called “blue zoisite”, this rare gem was aptly renamed to Tanzanite (Why? The kicker comes in soon) as part of a business decision by Tiffany & Co.,  who concluded that, due to its proper pronunciation, “blue zoicite” sounded awfully close to “blue suicide” (And there’s the kicker).  From 1967 to 1972, an estimated two million carats of Tanzanite were mined in Tanzania. The gemstone is typically heat-treated to bring out that blueish violet color which gives it its character.

Now, back to the relevance of the blog title. One day at the shop, I received a call from one of my customers saying they cracked a pear shaped Tanzanite. If you’re a jeweler, reading this, your stomach just turned because if you’ve put years in this industry, you’ve had a Tanzanite crack on you one time or another. To explain exactly what happened, my customer’s jeweler just finished polishing the ring with the Tanzanite set as the center stone. He dropped the ring into the ultra sonic machine to clean out all that polish gunk, removed it from the water, put the ring under the high pressured steamer, and then moved it under cold running water. As he picked up the ring to inspect the ring, the last thing he would want to see was staring back at him – a huge crack from end to end in the Tanzanite.

‘Sako, I need a matching Tanzanite, 4-5 carats pear-shaped’. One of the services I provide to my customers is supplying, cutting, and matching any type of gemstone required. I had a 5 carat Tanzanite pear-shaped, which was a better color. I showed them the color and they approved it for cutting. I ended up matching the size of the stone so it could sit back into its mounting.

If you do not know how Tanzanites function, they could become a huge and expensive headache, hence the title to this blog.

Here are some of the many Tanzanites I’ve received for repolishing services over the years…


On a personal note, I’ve been trying to get the attention of a few jewelers who cater to the stars. It’s a long process and hopefully I can nail a couple of high profile clients and provide them with my services. We shall see…

If you do not follow European football (soccer), It’s come down to the business end of the season. My team I support, Manchester United, are involved in the league title race, F.A. Cup semis and quarter-final showdown with Chelsea in the Champions League. Good luck to me and them.

I appreciate my followers that read my blogs and hopefully I can continue to grow this sucker and educate you guys without boring the hell out of you. Apparently my post on the ‘evil eye’ project I did has been getting a ton of hits on a daily basis.. Here’s part 1 and part 2.

If you want to read some entertaining stuff from a jeweler out there, check out Ben Baller’s blog from ‘If and Co.‘ … His latest blog was about his time spent in Las Vegas, selling his jewelry to Floyd Mayweather, Jr. (readers discretion is adviced for some of you out there)

Till next time…

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5 Responses to “Doomed by the crack… to your wallet”

  1. Mike Dukes said

    Good Read! Keep posting.

  2. […] replacement. If you guys didn’t read my last blog on that Tanzanite piece I wrote about, read it. Extreme temperature changes can cause severe damage to your stone and to your wallet. A […]

  3. […] The pictures below pretty much tell the rest of the story. Read my older post about a similar topic here. Till next […]

  4. […] fancy cut. If you want a nice and easy breakdown on Tanzanites, please click on the link ‘here‘ from a previous blog post I wrote a while back. Other then that, take a look at these […]

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