Economic issues and production problems force shutdown after 11 years.
The New York City-based office of the Tanzanite Foundation – created to promote the origins, benefits and uses of tanzanite – is closing its doors after 11-years due to a combination of economic and production factors.
First reported in JCK, Tanzanite Foundation executive director Hayley Henning confirmed that the New York office of the promotional agency will close at the end of this month.
The decision was reportedly based on economic factors – tanzanite’s prices have been at an all-time low – as well as poor production and repeated issues with illegal mining activities, theft and undisclosed additional factors.
Originally formed by miner TanzaniteOne, the nonprofit foundation assisted operators and partners in the tanzanite industry, while helping to implement standardised methods of practice and deliver ethically sources stones to market.
Henning, who has worked at the agency for seven years, admitted to JCK: “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.
"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.”
In its 11 year history, the Tanzanite Foundation has helped Tanzanian communities by raising money to build schools, orphanages and a medical clinics.