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Gemstone industry undergoes changes on corporate and retail front
Gemfields could be the new lead miner of coloured gemstones
By: Diamond World News Service
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Sep 21 2008 5:18AM
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Reference: 3065  

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The gemstone family has lately undergone a transition, with some new stones gaining popularity, some popular stones loosing their place. Bearing the brunt of social and political stands, Myanmar rubies have been banned in the US, affecting their lead place in the jewellery market. Contrary to the rubies, Columbian emeralds are gaining popularity and are much in demand. Blue Topaz recovered as compared to last year, and a Blue Topaz sold in the US is today accompanied with a certificate ensuring consumer trust in the stone.

Another member of the gemstone industry, the Paraiba of the Tourmaline stone family, had enjoyed a huge demand and popularity last year, but it fails to be seen today.

The ever popular tanzanite has seen lowered demand in recent times. Sourcing tanzanite roughs from Arusha, a city in Africa, has reduced by 15 percent. The overall commercial polished tanazanite has fallen by 40-50 percent, and Spinel is the new stone growing in demand at high prices.

On the corporate front, some new companies could be leading the tanzanite gemstone industry. This month, Gemfields Resources Plc purchased 7.5mn TanzaniteOne (T1) shares at 30 pence per share and a further 0.5mn T1 shares at 37 pence/share. Also Pallinghurst Resources (Guernsey) Limited (Pallinghurst), a related party of Gemfields, owns 2.1mn T1 shares. TanzaniteOne is the largest miner of tanzanites. Also, Gemfields received a conditional irrevocable undertaking for approximately 14mn T1 shares, representing approximately 19% of T1’s issued common share capital. With this, T1 Shares owned by Gemfields and Pallinghurst, and the irrevocable undertaking represent approximately 24mn T1 Shares, or approximately 32.6% of T1’s issued common share capital. This could make Gemfields the world’s leading miner of coloured gemstones.

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