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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (258 Articles), EDUCATION / TRAINING (184 Articles)

Lisa Schultz gets dirty, deep inside the Tanzanite One mine
Lisa Schultz gets dirty, deep inside the Tanzanite One mine
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Gemstone experts descend on Tanzania

Tanzanite and diamond mines were on the travel itinerary of a group of Australian gemmologists last month.
Eighteen members of the Gemmological Association of Australia (GAA) travelled to Tanzania to explore some of the country’s gemstone mines, where they not only explored the facilities, but also descended into the mines to work side-by-side with local miners.

Members visited the Tanzanite One mine, the world’s largest Tanzanite gemstone mine. The Ruby Zoisite Mine in Longido was next on the itinerary, where members descended 380 metres into the mine and interacted with working miners.

Finally, members ventured into the Williamson Diamond Mine where they were allowed to keep any rough diamonds they found.

GAA President, Terry Coldham told Jeweller that the opportunity was a rare one, which provided great insight for the members, particularly from a retail perspective.

The importance of product knowledge in today’s industry was pivotal for business success, according to Coldham: “We were thoroughly briefed on the Tanzanite gemstones, the marketing of the stones and how they [Tanzanian miners] generally handle their production. Retailers learnt a lot that they can pass on to their consumers.”

Coldham believed the educational opportunities provided by the trip were highly beneficial for Australian gemmologists. Individually, gemmologists wouldn’t have the chance to visit the mines, but as an organised group with a collective interest in gemstones, their access was “incomparable.”

“They were given the opportunity to descend into the mines via steel buckets and later they went down one of the local artisanal mines,” Coldham said. “By simply saying that you have been into these mines is a great story personally and for the purpose of industry knowledge.”

GAA Member, Dean Crawford of Newcastle said the trip was “fantastic,” and it had exceeded all his expectations.

“The combination of gemmological and gem safaris gave us the best of both worlds in a week of intense interest and pleasure,” Crawford said. “Access to the gemstone mines was a unique opportunity for us to understand the geological processes necessary for the formation of gemstones.”

After the success of this trip, the GAA confirmed that a return visit is planned for 2012.

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Tuesday, 15 October, 2019 04:59pm
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