Thanks and disclaimer:

 

Important Note: The author: Vincent Pardieu is an employee of GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Laboratory Bangkok since Dec 2008. Any views expressed on this website - and in particular any views expressed by Vincent Pardieu - are the authors' opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GIA or GIA Laboratory Bangkok . GIA takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content on this website nor is GIA liable for any mistakes or omissions you may encounter. GIA is in particular not screening, editing or monitoring the content on this website and has no possibility to remove, screen or edit any content.

 


About FieldGemology. org

This website is home for "Shameless Travel Addicted Gemologist" Vincent Pardieu (B.Sc., GGA, G.G.). Vincent is "Supervisor, Field Gemology" at GIA Laboratory Bangkok. He is a gemologist specialized on "origin determination of gemstones".
This is also home for Vincent's regular traveling companions: David Bright, Jean Baptiste Senoble, Richard W. Hughes, Guillaume Soubiraa, Walter Balmer, Michael Rogers, Kham Vannaxay and many others like recently: Philippe Ressigeac, Oliver Segura , Flavie Isatelle and Lou Pierre Bryl.

We are gemologists (gemmologists) sharing a passion for gemstones, gemolology (gemmology), gem people and traveling.

You will find in this website gemological expedition reports and some studies of gemological interest.

Visiting many gem mining areas we saw that people in remote mining and trading areas have difficulties to access to gemological publications. As today the Internet can be accessed in most of these gem mining areas and trading centers, the author started to build this website to give gem people living there the opportunity to see the result of the gemological expeditions they were associated in. It is a way to thanks them for their time and collaboration and to help them to get access to more gemological information.

At the same time the author hope that these expedition reports will please the people from consuming countries interested in gemstones and fascinated by their mysterious origins. Our purpose here is to help people facing difficulties to get quality first hand information about gems and their origins to get the information they need through this website and its links.

With our field expeditions to gemstone mines and gem markets around the world, we intend also here to share our passion for photography, gems and our fascination for the work of the "Gem People" bringing gemstones from the ground to magnificent jewelry.

From the gems external beauty to the intimate beauty of gemstone inclusions, from gem lore to the mines, the people and the landscapes gems origin from, we expect to share with you our passion for gemstone beauty.

We also invite you to join us on some gemological forums we are active in as they are convenient tools to get rapid answers to your questions as they are regularly visited by many other passionate gemologists, jewelers, hobbyists and professionals willing to learn more and share their knowledge about gemstones.

 


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Index page: Vincent Pardieu's Blog


About the Author


About me : How did a countryside Frenchman became a "Shameless travel addicted gemologist"? ( Under construction)

 

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Popular Articles

"Tsavorite, an Untamed Gem" with R.W.Hughes, first published in ICA's InColor (Winter 2008)
"Working the blue seam" The Tanzanite mines of Merelani with R.W.Hughes first published on
www.ruby-sapphire.com
"Spinel, the resurection of a Classic" with R.W. Hughes, first published in ICA's InColor (Summer 2008)

Gemological studies

(Apr. 2009) "Sapphires reportedly from Batakundi / Basil area" a preliminary study about unusual sapphires we saw at GIA Laboratory Bangkok
(Mar. 2009) "Rubies from Niassa province, Mozambique" a preliminary study about rubies we saw at GIA Laboratory Bangkok
"Lead glass filled rubies" :
First published on AIGS Lab Website (Feb 2005)


Expedition Reports

Autumn. 2009: GIA Field Expedition FE09: Rubies from Mozambique. (pdf file)


May. 2009: GIA Field Expedition FE08: Melos and their pearls in Vietnam. (pdf file)


Dec. 2008 and Feb-Mar. 2009: GIA Field Expeditions FE01 and FE04: Rubies and sapphires from Pailin, Cambodia. (pdf file)


Aug. 2008: Sapphires and Tsavorite from the south of Madagascar with the AFG (Association francaise de Gemmologie) : Available soon...


Apr. 2008: Expedition to the new Winza ruby deposit in central Tanzania with Jean Baptiste Senoble and the support of the Gubelin Gem Lab



October 2007: Gemological expedition to East Africa (Kenya and Tanzania) with Richard W. Hughes, Mike Rogers, Guillaume Soubiraa, Warne and Monty Chitty and Philippe Bruno:


Summer 2006: Expeditions to Central Asia gem wealth with Guillaume Soubiraa and the support of the AIGS, the ICA and the Gubelin Gem Lab:


Oct. 2005: Colombia by J.B. Senoble


Sep. 2005: Madagascar with Richard W. Hughes and Dana Schorr (Will be available one of these days...)


Summer 2005: Gemological expeditions to South East Asia (Vietnam) South Asia (Sri Lanka) and East Africa (Kenya, Madagascar and Tanzania) with J.B. Senoble and Tanguy Lagache with the support of the AIGS, the ICA and the Gubelin Gem Lab:



- Feb. 2005: A visit to Thailand, Cambodia with the AFG (Association Francaise de Gemmologie) (under construction)

- 2002-2007: Expeditions to Pailin (Cambodia), Chanthaburi Kanchanaburi (Thailand) Houay Xai (Laos) Mogok, Namya (Burma) (under construction)

- 2001: Expeditions to Namya, Hpakant and then Mogok with Ted and Angelo Themelis and Hemi Englisher (under construction)

Find our blogs using the following Keywords:

Find our photos using the following Keywords:

Discover fieldgemology newsletter:
(Currently under "hibernation status"...)


Number 01: Sept 2006
(I know: it was long time ago...)

 



Links


Special
THANKS for their support
for our field expeditions since 2005:



Any QUESTIONS?

about gems, gemology, field expeditions, studying gemology, minerals, jade, pearls or jewelry?
We recommend these FORUMS
where the author is contributing:



Do you want to
STUDY GEMOLOGY?


Here are some recommended institutes where the author studied gemology in Thailand ... and was happy about his investment!



For those willing to go further after their gemological studies: Recommended Advanced Gemological Courses:


To finish here are some BOOKS about gemology
the author have read and appreciated and would like to recommend to people willing to learn more about gemstones, gemology and the places where gemstones are found:

emeralds


 


 


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The photos and articles on fieldgemology.org are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Feel free to use the photos and articles with links and credits. No commercial use without permission.
All the best,

     
 


Tanzania, October 2007
A Gemological Safari

Part 1: ( Click to visit part 1)
Ruby, Sapphire, Moonstone, Spinels, Tsavorite, Alexandrite:
Gems from central and south Tanzania

Part 2: ( Present page)
Tsavorite, Tanzanite, Chrome Tourmaline, Emerald and Alexandrites:
Gems from the Massai Land (North Tanzania)


Texts by
Vincent Pardieu (Gubelin Gem Lab, Lucerne, Switzerland)

Photos and maps by:
Vincent Pardieu, Mike Rogers, Guillaume Soubiraa, Richard W. Hughes.

(This temporary page was updated on July 20, 2008)

This expedition, even if it was privately conducted during my holidays and financed by the authors, was supported by the Gubelin Gem Lab located in Lucerne, Switzerland, where I'm working as gemologist at the time of the expedition.



I invite you to continue now with our October 2007 expedition: After our visit at Morogoro, Mahenge, Songea, Tunduru and Ruangwa, we continued to Dar es Salaam for a long drive and then the following day to Arusha.

During my first visit in Tanzania with Jean Baptiste Senoble in August 2005 we visited what is probably the most modern colored gemstone mine in the world: The "Tanzanite One" mining operation at Merelani. We had one very interesting day visiting this high tech mine.

Back in Arusha we decided first to go to visit the Merelani Tanzanite mines located close the the majestic Kilimanjaro mountain. But this time we were not willing to return to visit Tanzanite One, but instead we wanted to visit some of the local mining operations at the bloc D in order to have a first hand experience and a better understanding of Tanzanite mining.




In 2005 I visited with Jean Baptiste Senoble the Tanzanite One mining operation, which is the most modern colored gemstone mining operation I ever visited. It was a very interesting visit but of course Merelani is not only about modern mining methods and we wanted also what was presented to be the dark side of Merelani with our own eyes .


We decided to visit Merelani Bloc D. Merelani is divided in 4 main blocs named A to D. It is Tanzanian main mining area with possibly between 40.000 to 70.000 people mining and living here. 5000 to 6000 miners were told us to work at the Bloc D which is the area where the deepest tunnels are found as the gem deposit gets deeper from Bloc A to Bloc D. Tanzanite One is mining the Blocs B and C. We started our visit by the local mining officer office in order to get their support in our project to visit the mines. We then left Merelani city and drove to the Bloc D. On the way we passed near Machakecho, a large mining area located between Merelani town and the different mining blocs where many small miners were working a secondary deposit. The area was quite interesting as we were lucky to have a nice weather and could take some photos of Tanzanite mining with the Kilimanjaro on the background. We drove then around the Tanzanite One mine to arrive in the Bloc D.

A short video showing a 360 degres view from one of the Merelani explosive storage facility over the region and the Tanzanite mines: Under the Kilimanjaro mountain the Machakecho area is clearly visible, and then on the hill, the Tanzanite One mine.

Video: Vincent Pardieu.




We were able to visit the "Kikuyu" mine located (03°33'10"S 37°02'01"E) in which 60 miners were working underground by teams of 30 with 6 hours shifts. The mine manager Nixon Monga is 24 years old. He is managing the mine for 9 years since the death of his father with the help of two partners. The mine start with a vertical pit about 100 meters deep with a wooden ladder. then several tunnels about one meter wide on one meter high are going deep underground about 200 to 300 meters to reach the mining head. Nixon Monga told us that miners were working for the last 2 years but nearly no stones were found and the work is becoming more and more difficult at the tunnels are deeper and deeper.



We visited the mine twice: First on October 20 and then again on October 23: We could witness the miners shift which was impressive as the miners coming back from 6 hours of underground work were coming out of the pit completely covered by graphite powder, rushing to get their small pack of milk. On October 20 we decided to went down into the mine. Guillaume Soubiraa went first and I followed. But once on the vertical ladder over the dark vertical pit I had the bad idea to ask how deep was the pit.
One of the miner answered about 180 meters. 180 meters vertical pit on a dusty wooden ladder????
I was suddenly remembering a similar experience I had in Mogok went I went down about 80 meters underground in Bawpadan mine on wet wood: Crazy experience and here it was more than double!
No way!
I got a sudden vertigo feeling and thought about my wife who asked me before to leave on that expedition to be careful as she was not willing to become yet a widow.
I decided not to go down, but Guillaume Soubiraa and Micheal Rogers were already on the way down.
We waited them to return to the surface for 2 long hours. which were not useless as we could speak with the miners and take some photos around. When Guillaume and Mike returned to the surface covered of sweat and graphite they needed 5 minutes to be able to stand and speak.
But the first thing they said was
"Vince: You have to go there, it is just incredible"...
Damn!: That was exactly what i was not willing to hear.
I asked then about the vertical pit and the wood. They then told me that 180 meters was exaggerated, the vertical pit was possibly about 100 meters but there were several places where it was possible to rest a bit and the wood and the mine were dry. Then Mike told me that his camera got broken in the deep of the mine, that was meaning that we had no photos or short movies at all.




Michael Rogers and Guillaume Soubiraa, two young gemologist recently graduated from AIGS in bangkok are rexaminating rough Tanzanite after spending 2 hours underground with the Merelani miners.
On the following photos they take the pause with the Kilimanjaro on the back side with our guide and friend: Tanzanian Gem broker Abdul Amsallem.

Finaly they are getting very affectuous with Richard W.Hughes.

Happy birthday Richard!







Ok we then decided that instead of visiting the Ngorongoro crater 2 days later we would return here with some cameras able to take photos there.

On October 23 I returned then to Merelani with Guillaume Soubiraa and Philippe Brunot. Philippe was able to protect his video camera and both Guillaume and I had a camera.


Ready to go underground? Philippe Brunot has prepared his camera with Guillaume Soubiraa they looks ready for his second underground visit... As the Merelani undergound is full of graphite dust, a scarf seems to be a good idea.

Video: Vincent Pardieu.


We went down for nearly 3 hours in the deep of the mine. At the time of our second visit the miners were not digging but taking out all the mine waster. Nevertheless going down the 100 meters deep vertical mining pit was a daring experience: Of course we had no ropes or helmet and I was praying that nobody would fall in the pit while we were going down as in that case we would all fall in the darkness of the mine pit.





But everything went fine and I could see that the wood ladder was strong. Arriving in the deep of the vertical pit we started then to crawl in the tunnels which were very irregular going up and down. The task was difficult for me as these tunnels were not build for 1.90 meters tall guys like me: they were not more than 1 meter high meaning that i was not even able to walk on four legs but I had to crawl all the time and they were barely wide enough for me to pass.



I met in one occasion some miners going up while I was going down and he had to pass over me covering me with graphite dust. The atmosphere was also from difficult to impossible to break with the mask we had and soon we had to take them out as breathing graphite was in fact more convenient that not breathing at all. We could also understand why the miners were not willing to weir helmets: First the tunnel top was solid rock and they were so narrow that wearing a helmet would become rapidly very annoying. In fact helmets and masks are just not very convenient when you crawl like a rat underground in very narrow tunnels.



After about one hour visiting some secondary galleries we arrived at the main mining area which was wider and slightly higher than the tunnels we were using so far. The wonderful surprise was that on the floor there was a hole from which fresh cold air from the surface was coming. It was a pure wonder to breath it after one hour breathing hot graphite. At the mining room, the miners explained to us what they were doing, they were very excited to show us the veins they were mining following the pyrite and the graphite.











We could then see in their eyes what was motivating them to work under such tough condition: Hope, hope to hit a gem pocket and become rich as it happened in the past to others. Miners told us that staying in their village or in a city slum, they had no chance to have a future, but here with hard work and some luck they might get enough money to get a good life. I was thinking that hope was may be a short cut to deception but it for sure help people to endure hard life!



After nearly hour hour crawling in the narrow Merelani tunnels, we finaly met miners which were busy cleaning the mine after few days of production. We were very tired but happy to take some rest there with the miners. The miners were happy to show us what they mining even if their English was very weak. Tanzanite is hard work... a a lot of hope!

Video: Vincent Pardieu.

After nearly 3 hours we returned to the surface, going back was much more difficult than going down. I had to stop many times to be able to breath. The tunnels were dry, just dusty with graphite. The miner helping me Izrael Deo, told me that it was normal as it was for me the first time. I was thinking: Could people get used to that? He was smiling. I had no answer as seconds after we reached the wooden ladder of the vertical pit. I started to climb. I was tired and my only focus was just not to fall. Meter by meter, as safely as I could. The air was becoming better and there was this round of light over my head shining like heaven. After few minutes we were all back to the surface, completely covered of graphite, completely tired but safe. I was lying on the floor thinking that I would never do that again: The miners were smiling and laughing. Within few hours they would all go down again, not to visit the mine but to work, to break rocks and to mine small crystals. Hard work for one day, one wealthy guy somewhere will be able to offer a lovely stone to the woman he love. Hope and hard work turned into love and cash? Yes, this is Tanzanite...in the best case.

Few weeks ago i read on newspaper that due to the heavy rains several mines in Merelani were flooded and many miners died deep underground. I was reminding myself crawling in these tunnels: What if these tunnels instead to be dry were wet and slippery and what if water was entering the mine? Well, simple: I would have also probably died there: Terrible! I had no problem to imagine now what were probably these miners last instants.
But tomorrow probably new miners will continue to go down and dig Merelani hill to get Tanzanite and these huge tsavorites. Incredible stones, incredible mines and mining conditions and incredible men to volunteer for such a hard job! I have a lot of admiration for the Merelani miners I met in this mine, and particularly to Izrael Deo and Tobias Stanslaus, the two miners who took me down there and then back to the surface. Izrael Deo was a young educated Tanzanian speaking good English. He told me that he decided to stop the school to come mining with his father because he wants to get money, to learn about gem mining and to get a good life in the future. Each time I see a Tanzanite or a large Merelani Tsavorite I just think about you guys! About you and about these tunnels! I do wish you all the best.

After our expedition to Merelani we decided that we also had to explore East African green gems: We decided to visit then the Manyara emerald and Alexandrite mines, the Tsavorite mines near Komolo village at Lemshuko and also the chrome Tourmaline mines near Lentanai...

During our last visit in 2005 we visited already the Tsavorite mines at Lemshuko (03°51'36"S 36°51'34"E) which are managed by mark Saul the son of the famous John Saul who discovered rubies in Tsavo, Kenya during the 1960's...We returned there and were able to see the progress after two years: The mining plant which was under construction in 2005 was operational during our visit on October 21 and we could witness actual mining. On the way back from the mine we could see the new Komolo school which was financed by the ICA (International Colored stone Association), the French Gemological Association groups visiting Tanzania recently and by Swalagemtraders, Mark and Eric Saul company . The school was to open on Dec 9th 2007, the Tanzanian Independence Day.






A video showing one of the plants used at lemshuko to concentrate the gem gravels: At Lemshuko Tsavorite is mined from a detritic deposit. The gems are associated with a dry ground . In order to save water, it is necessary to eliminate the dust before to wash the gem rich gravels. This plant eliminate dust and large rocks... Clever!

Video: Vincent Pardieu.

A second short video showing the Lemshuko washing plant. There the gem rich ground, which was first contentrated at the dry plant, is washed. The washing plant is associated with a water reserve. In case of shortage a truck can be used to bring water.

Video: Vincent Pardieu.



A short video showing our group witnessing the harvest at the Lemshuko washing plant: The Tsavorite found are placed in a simple bottle by the mine manager...

Video: Vincent Pardieu.

We were very happy to see Mark Saul collecting a large piece of rough tsavorite from the jig. It was a good occasion for me to shoot one of my favorite photos.

Thanks Mark!


On October 22, we left to the lake Manyara in order to visit the emerald and alexandrite mines described in the past by Dr E. Gubelin. We were told that out of nine mining operations with licence four mines are currently in operation with about 10 workers per mine. We were able to visit two of these mining operations: the Pengo mine and a second small mining operation run by 3 young Tanzanian in their 20's. Both mines started with a pit, then it was going underground with a small pit and then tunnels. The tunnels were a little bit larger than in Merelani and only about 10 to 50 meters deep. The miners were friendly, shared with us a little bit of food and presented also to us some emerald and alexandrites they had mined. The visit was nice, the area was beautiful, green. Baboons and velvet monkeys were visible around the mine and many signs were also showing that elephants were also commonly visiting the area.



A view over the Pengo emerald and alexandrite mining area in Manyara.


Going down the Pengo Emerald and alexandrite mine at Manyara. The mine pit is not very deep about four meters and then a gallery about 20 meters long bring to the mining place. During our visit it was several days nobody was working an the tunnels were then half flooded. Nevertheless we could see some tiny emeralds on the mine walls.















Ayubu Juma, Isack Elesamia and Suleiman Mohameed were very proudly mining emerald and alexandriteat Manyara. Tough young guys!


On October 24, we decided to go to visit the main green tourmaline (which can be called in some rare cases "chromdravite" or "chrome tourmaline", if it is chromium rich, or more commonly dravaite or uvite if the origin of its green color is more due to iron or vanadium) mining area in Tanzania: Lendanai. This area was told us to produce about most of the Tanzanian "chrome tourmaline" production, but it seems that in fact less than 5% of its green tourmaline contain chromium and thus can be called "chrome tourmaline". The main other Tanzanian green tourmaline mining areas producing are the Umba, the Matombo, the Leletema hills areas. Tanzania is not the only producer in the area, "chrome tourmaline" is also produced in Kenya (Tsavo area), usually associated with tsavorite and rubies, in Madagascar and Zambia. Recently I heard from Chanthaburi people that a new deposit was found in Mozambique producing some fine bright material.
We took the road to Lossogonoi, the ruby mine we visited in 2005. The operation run by Rockland is currently closed as it was not profitable, the cost of mining with modern techniques was too high compared to the value of the rubies collected. Interesting thing to notice and remember when prices for gas are going higher and higher. If local small scale mining will probably continue to be present, as the only necessary things is to have men with time to spend mining, hope and the motivation to get a better future for them and their families working hard, it seems that modern mining using machinery will be only profitable in few very rich deposits when prices for the gems produced will be good enough.

Few kilometers after Lossogonoi we arrived at Lentanai village dominated by Lossogonoi mountains. The village was scenic, many Massai were present with hundreds of cows, it was interesting to learn that the Massai were the main gem dealers here as in many area of northern Tanzania: They travel the land with their cows and are involved in the gem trade. When they make profit they buy cows, when they need to buy gems, they can sell few cows, their main goal and their capital remain cattles. It is something interesting as if the gem trade is not going well they still have their main activity to continue to live.


This is their strength and it is an interesting aspect of the gem trade in Northern Tanzania. And believe me they are really tough dealers as when you know how to bargain for cattles (or when you know how to bargain with tourists.) it is not difficult to bargain for gems: Guillaume Soubiraa willing to buy some few rough green tourmaline from the Massai was able to understand that very rapidly, hands on! Tough people but it was a great experience.


A short video showing Guillaume Soubiraa in some Chrome Tourmaline buying action with Massai gem dealers near the mines at Lendanai.
Tough bargaining was ruling!

Video: Vincent Pardieu.





At Lentanai it was interesting to see that in the same mining area several type of mining take place: Some groups of miners are working for the mine owner providing food and tools, in that case, the owner of the mine can get 75% of the production while the workers get 25%. Some Massai groups are operating differently, they give 30% to the owner of the mine in order to be allowed to work but come with their own food and mining equipment.


Around Lendanai mining started at the end of the 1960's, we heard about 12 mining operations for green tourmaline involving about 500 miners. Mining was told us to have been at its best during the 1990's then it started to go down. The global mining area seems to be about 15km by 10 km.

A short video showing a 360 degres view from one of the Chrome Tourmaline mine we near Lendanai. It was a beautiful view point over the Massai steppe and into the daring mining trench reflecting more than 30 years of mining...

Video: Vincent Pardieu.


Most of the mines are underground. The miners told us that they were following mica and quartz veins in marble in order to reach small pegmatite bodies where green tourmalines are collected. 50% of the production was told us to be gem quality, with stones from 5 to 10 grams representing about 25% of the production, but stones under 5 grams rough are the most common.

A short video showing a glimpse of the beautiful drive we had returning from the Chrome Tourmaline mines to Arusha. We were driving toward the scenic Kilimanjaro mountain as the sun was going down. Just a beautiful drive!

Video: Vincent Pardieu.

After returning to Arusha we left rapidly Tanzania to Kenya as Richard W.Hughes was very concerned about the fire ravaging the area where he was living in California. His family was evacuated but everything was finally fine for him, hopefully!
That was the final step of a very intensive month traveling all around Tanzania to meet its incredible gem wealth!

Last news from Tanzania:

Nov 2007: New speassartine garnet deposit near Loliondo: It was interesting to hear that one month after our departure an interesting spessartine garnet deposit was found near Loliondo village near the Serengeti close to the Kenyan border. The material was of fine color but was most of the time very included. Nevertheless beautiful crystals were found. Speassartine from Loliondo were well noticed at Tucson in Feb. 2008. In april 2008 when I last visited Tanzania the activity at Loliondo was reported to be much weaker than in the past few months as many miners moved to Winza to mine rubies. (More info about this new spessartine deposit)



November 2007: New ruby deposit near Winza: In November 2007 between Dodoma and Morogoro, a ruby rush happened in Mpwapwa district, near the Winza village. The area seems to be an old ruby mining deposit recently re discovered as mines are indicated at the axact location of the current mining village in old maps from the 1960's. The deposit was reported to me in January 2008 by Abdul Msallem who visited and worked in the area in December 2007. It produce rubies looking quite similar to Thai rubies but also pink, pinkish orange and blue stones. One of the most interesting features of these stones looks to be the strong blue color zoning they present. Several attractive cut stones from 1 to 15 carats told to be from this deposit were seems recently at the Basel gem fair. From April 16 to 21 2008, I visited and studied the Winza deposit with gemologist Jean Baptiste Senoble, where about 4000 people have rushed. (For more info please visit the Winza page on Fieldgemology.org)





Special thanks,

to all the Tanzanian authorities we met which provided us support and help, to the miners and brokers who welcomed us, shared with us their time and their life. Your support and welcome was much appreciated!
I hope that this report will be useful to all people we met in Tanzania and to all the people interested in the gem trade from the production areas in Tanzania to the consuming markets and for all gem lovers around the world.

Now I would like to give a more personal thanks to the following people as without their help and support during all this expedition to Tanzania, I would not have succeded in this expedition:

First thanks to my traveling companions which helped to finance, to organize and to make this expedition a succes:

Richard W Hughes is world famous as the author of "Ruby and Sapphire", an excellent reference book about these gems. Thanks to his book I decided to follow his steps and become a gemologist. Richard was working at the time of this expedition for the AGTA GTL (American Gem Trader Association Gem Trade Laboratory) as a gemologist and he is the webmaster of the excellent www.ruby-sapphire.com website.
I met Guillaume Soubiraa for the first time visiting Madagascar with Richard Hughes in 2005. We then became friends as he came to study gemology at the AIGS in Bangkok, Thailand. Guillaume was a great assistant during my expedition to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and China in 2006.
He is now back in Madagascar working for SMDA (Societe Miniere Delorme et Associes) and Soagems.
I met "Mike" Rogers a he was studying gemology at the AIGS in Bangkok.
Half Japanese, half Dutch, living between Hawai, Bangkok and Madagascar, affraid of nothing but nevertheless very wise, Mike is a passionate and brilliant young gemologist following the steps of his family as a member of the gem trade..
Philippe Brunot joined our expedition with his video camera as a childhood friend of Guillaume Soubiraa. They both studied in Madagascar where Philippe family was involved in the vanilla trade.
Warne Chitty and his father Monty joined our expedition as Richard Hughes's friends. Warne which who just completed his gemological studies at GIA was then on the way to complete his FGA in London... Such an impressive gemological background was not enough for this ambitious young man who was recently visiting the emerald mines in Colombia with Ron Ringsrud. With his father he was a very welcome addition to our team and expedition.

Then to the ICA (International Colored stone Association) and its Tanzanian members
for the support they provided to the fellow member I'm to organize this expedition to Tanzania.

Eric and Mark Saul, from Swalagemtraders are the sons of geologist John Saul which name is associated with the ruby discoveries in Kenya.
They are themselves involved in Tsavorite mining in Lemshuko, Tanzania and are among the most active member of the East African gem trade promoting Tanzanian gems around the world.
Eric Saul is the current ICA Ambassador to Tanzania. Their support in the planning and the organization of our expeditions was very valuable and appreciated.

Finally I would like to give a great thanks to our Tanzanian traveling companions:
Guide and drivers as without their help in the field, our expedition could not have succeded.

Abdul Msellem was our guide in our Tanzanian gemological expeditions for 3 weeks in August 2005, October 2007 and April 2008.
Abdul father was already active in the gem trade and it was then logic for Abdul to follow his steps. Abdul is a professional gem broker from Arusha and an occasional gem miner in Tanzania. His knowledge of the Tanzanian mining areas, its people and Tanzanian gem trade, was a great asset in the field for all our expeditions.

We would like to present him here all our gratitude for all his help before, during and after our expedition.
Moussa, and Abel were our drivers. They are working for "Fortes Safari" company in Arusha Their professionalism, great experience about driving in the bush and attitude during all our expedition were very appreciated.


Finaly I would like to invite you to visit Richard W.Hughes website and to discover his Tanzanite page, adapted from the present report:

Tanzania, October 2007: A Gemological Safari

Part 1: ( Click to visit part 1)
Ruby, Sapphire, Moonstone, Spinels, Tsavorite, Alexandrite:
Gems from central and south Tanzania

Part 2: ( Present page)
Tsavorite, Tanzanite, Chrome Tourmaline, Emerald and Alexandrites:
Gems from the Massai Land (North Tanzania)



Interesting Links, articles, maps and books about gemstones from Tanzania: (to be completed)

Interesting Links about rubies from the new Winza deposit:
- Feb 05, 2008: Frist announcement about the new ruby and sapphire discovery near Dodoma by the author on the GemologyOnline gemological forum
- May 03rd 2008, first serious public release about rubies from Winza: SSEFnewsletter_may08
- May 05th 2008, GIA Insider published an article about Winza by SSEF
- May 06th, 2008, The Gubelin Gem Lab make a public announcement about rubies from Winza in its newsletter:
- May 26th 2008, GIA Insider published a short article by Brendan Laurs and Vincent Pardieu about Winza
- June 03rd 2008, the ICA put online its InColor Magazine: with an article from JB Senoble about our common expedition to Winza and another gemological article by SSEF about these Winza rubies.
- June 05th 2008: GIT put on its website a short study about Winza rubies:
- July 04th 2008, Diamond Rapaport Report, Vol 31, N26, p173 to 175: "Field Report from Winza" by Vincent Pardieu and Dietmar Schwarz, Gubelin Gem Lab. Note: In this article the deposit was mistakenly described as "probably lamprophiric..." It is of course not the case.
- Jan. 2009: Schwarz D., Pardieu V., Saul J.M., Schmetzer K., Laurs B.M., Giuliani G., Klemm L., Malsy A.-K, Erel E., Hauzenberger C., Du Toit G., Fallick A.E., Ohnenstetter D. (2008) "Rubies and Sapphires from Winza, Central Tanzania", Gems & Gemology, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 322-347.

Internet Links:
- Vincent Pardieu and Jean Baptiste Senoble 2005 expedition report to Tanzania
- Vincent Pardieu, Richard W Hughes, Guillaume Soubiraa, Mike Rogers, Warne and Monty Chitty and Philippe Brunot 's October 2007 expedition report to Tanzania
- "Tanzanite: Its discovery and early days" by John Saul - ICA's InColor Magazine . Summer 2007
- "A new spessartite discovery by the Serengeti" by Eric Saul from Swalagemtraders...
- "Color change garnets" by Swalagemtraders
- "The first gesmtone discovered in East Africa": (The discovery of ruby near Longido) by John Saul.
- "Tanzanite July 7, 1967, something new out of Africa", by Swalagemtraders
- "Tsavorite, history of the main deposit" by Swalagemtraders
- Gems and gemology, spring 2004, Featured Gem News: "Pink to Pink-Orange Spinel from Tanzania"
- "The mineral industry of Tanzania 2003"
- "Tanzanian spinel, racing for the red", by David Federman
- "Longido ruby" As described by Edward R. Swoboda by Palagem.com
- "Tanzanite buying guide" by Peter Bancroft by Palagem.com
- "Tsavorite Garnet, King of African Gems" by Richard Wise
- "Green future await Tanzanian gem miner" by: Gerrit Bezuidenhout
- "Tanzanian Ruby Find Brings Hope" by Hamza Kondo
- "Rukwa, Tanzania Unknown Gem giant" by Hamza Kondo
- "The SEAMIC in Tanzania" One of the few facilities in Tanzania offering gemological courses.
- "TanzaniteOne", the website of what is probably the world colored stone most high tech mine.
- "Research on Corundum and chrysoberyl from Tanzania completed" by SSEF

Recommended Articles from Gemological Magazines:
- "Alexandrite from Lake Manyara, Tanzania", by E.Gubelin, Gems and Gemology, Fall 1976
- "Garnets from Umba valley, Tanzania: Is there a necessity for a new variety name?" by K.Schmetzer, Journal of Gemmology, 1981, XVII, 8
- "An Unusual garnet from Umba valley, Tanzania" by K. Schmetzer, Journal of Gemmology, 1982, XVIII, 3
- "Reddish-brown sapphires from Umba valley, Tanzania" by M. Gunawardene,, Journal of Gemmology, 1984, XIX, 2
- "Korunde aus dem Umba-Tal, Tansania, by H.A. Hanni, Z. Dt. Gemmol. Ges., Oct 1986
- "On corundums from Umba Valley, Tanzania" by H.A. Hanni, Journal of Gemmology, 1987, 20,5
- "Well-formed tsavorite gem crystals from Tanzania" by R.E. Kane, A.R. Kampf, H.Krupp, Gems and Gemology 1990
- "New rubies from the Morogoro area, Tanzania" by H.A. Hanni and K.Schmetzer, Gems and Gemology, Fall 1991
- "Gem quality green Zoisite" by N.R.Barot and E.W. Boehm, Gems and Gemology, Spring 1992
- "Lamellar inlcusions in spinels from Morogoro area, Tanzania" by K.Schmetzer and A. Berger, Journal of Gemmology, 1992, 23,2
- "An examination of colour change sapphire from Tanzania", by R.C. Kammerling, M.L.Johnson, Y.Liu, The Australian Gemmologist, Second Quarter 1996
- "A new colour change effect" by A.Halvorsen and B.B. Jensen, Journal of Gemmology, 1997, 25, 5, 325-330
- "Sapphire and garnet from Kalalani, Tanga province, Tanzania", by A. Siefert and J. Hyrsl, Gems and Gemology Summer 1999
- "Gem Wealth of Tanzania" by D. Dirlam, E B. Misiorowski, R Tozer, K.B. Stark and A.M. Bassett, Gems and Gemology, Summer 2002
- "Chemical fingerprinting of some East African gem rubies by Laser Ablation ICP-MS" by A.H. Rankin, J.Greenwood, and D. Hardgreaves, Journal of Gemmology, 2003, 28,8,473-482
- "The ICA 2006 World Colored Gemstone Mining Report", Incolor Spring 2006.
- "My road to the discovery of Tsavorite" by C. Bridges, from "Into East Africa, a Journey to the Source", Incolor 2007
- "Tanzanite: Its discovery and early days" by J. Saul, from "Into East Africa, a Journey to the Source", Incolor 2007

"Gems News" and other "Gem News International" from Gems and Gemology : (to be completed...)
- "Tanzanian spinel", Gems and Gemology, Fall 1991, p183 (about Mahenge spinels)
- "Update from Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Fall 1991, p183 (about Longido ruby)
- "Large Tsavorite garnet from Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Winter 1991, p258-259
- "Update on Tanzanian mining", Gems and Gemology, Winter 1991, p262 (about Tanzanite at Merelani)
- "faceted ruby from Longido", Gems and Gemology, Fall 1992, p203
- "Ruby mining near Mahenge, Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Summer 1993, p136
- "Sapphires from Tanzania" Gems and Gemology, Spring 1995, p64-66
- "Sapphires and other gems from Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Summer1995, p133-134
- "Update on Tanzanite mining", Gems and Gemology, Summer 1996, p135 (about Tanzanite at Merelani)
- "A new source for Tsavorite", Gems and Gemology, Summer 1999, p151-152 (about Ruangwa)
- "Ruby from Songea, Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Winter 1999, p215
- "Another source of bicolor sapphire, Tunduru, Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Winter 1999, p215
- "Update on Tanzanite mining by AFGEM", Gems and Gemology, Winter 2003, p337-339
- "Large tsavorite and green grossular from Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Spring 2004, p72-73
- "Pink to pink oragne spinels from Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Spring 2004, p71-72
- "Control on Mineralization in Bloc D' of the Merelani Tazanite Deposit, Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Fall 2006
- "Geology and Mining of Southern Tanzanian Alluvial Gem Deposits", Gems and Gemology, Fall 2006, p107
- "Transparent dumortierite and sapphirine from Tanzania", Gems and Gemology, Winter 2007, p379

Interesting Books about Rubies, sapphires, spinels and Gemstones from Tanzania :

"Gemstones from East Africa" by Peter C. Keller (1992)
"Ruby and Sapphire" by Richard W. Hughes (1997)
"Geology of Gem Deposits" by Lee A. Groat, Mineralogical Association of Canada, 2007
"Corindon et Spinelles" by F. Cresbron, P. Lebrun, J.M. Le Cleac'h, F. Notari, C. Grosbon, J. Deville, Mineraux et Fossiles, Hors Serie No.15, Oct 2002
"Saphirs et Rubis, Les gisements de Corindon: Classification et Genese" by V. Garnier, G. Giuliani, D. Ohnenstetter, D. Schwarz, Le Regne Mineral No.55, Jan. 2004
"Rubin, Saphir, Korund" extraLapis No. 15 (1998)

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Important Note: Vincent Pardieu is an employee of GIA (Gemological Institute of America) Laboratory Bangkok since Dec 2008. Any views expressed on this website - and in particular any views expressed by Vincent Pardieu - are the authors' opinions and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of GIA or GIA Laboratory Bangkok. GIA takes no responsibility and assumes no liability for any content on this website nor is GIA liable for any mistakes or omissions you may encounter. GIA is in particular not screening, editing or monitoring the content on this website and has no possibility to remove, screen or edit any content.