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TANZANIA  (Page under construction)



       Werner Radl,  MAWINGU GEMS ( http://www.euromineral.fr) sent an email describing the reopening of this mine.  Pictures of extensive pitting, fine faceted rubies, and an interesting ruby/sapphire dogtooth point make this an interesting revelation.  We will have more to say about it after Werner returns from field explorations soon.  Here are some images of the workings (pictures to follow), and a couple of stones from the locality.  The dog tooth crystal on the left is in Werner's collection.  The next specimen (2 views) was purchased from a visitor to our booth at the AFMS National Show in Billings, Montana in 2009.  The three on the right were obtained from Leonard Himes in Tucson, 2011.  Note the gem kyanite on the last two!   



        The Longido, Tanzania locality is famous for its red and green “ruby in zoisite”, also called “anyolite” in the gemstone trade.  There is a lot of legend surrounding the discovery of this site, which is well expressed in two Internet articles.  One, written by John and published on his sons’ website, is entitled “The first gemstone discovered in East Africa” (URL is http://www.swalagemtraders.com/news/2008/02/06/7-the-first-gemstone-discovered-in-east-africa).  Another is “Longido Ruby”, by Ed Swoboda.  It can be found on Bill Larson’s website at URL http://www.palagems.com/swoboda_longido.htm.

     The two stories cannot be totally reconciled, but what we do know is that Prince "Stash" Sapieha gave John two very early specimens from the site.  It would not be unreasonable to think of them as the first to reach gem or mineral dealers’ hands.  Both are now part of our collection.  The specimen on the left was acquired in 2000 from Cal Graeber, and the other (right) just arrived in a parcel from John.   

This incredible breccia included polished freeform anyolite is almost certainly from Longido.  It was the subject of the cover photo on the Abatract of the 31st International Gemmological Conference, Arusha, Tanzania, 2009.      



  Ketito is regarded for its elongated pink ruby crystals.  If undamaged, they tend to be doubly terminated with those elevated equilateral triangles.  The top of the crystal on the right has a stepped appearance because of this (gift of Rob Lavinsky).   



Most Morogoro rubies I have seen are complex masses that resemble wads of chewing gum with gemmy tips that are often cut for mellee stones.  The images to the right show a couple of these.  The superb  cluster below is a "floater", meaning that it has no visible sign of attachment.  It was exhibited at the Rome show by the Italian dealer  (Fabio Americolo) who acquired it from the miners and sent it to us.      
   The small crystal in the center of the last two photos and the larger one behind it are fully terminated and  gemmy enough to be faceted.   (12/28/2010)

This killer Morogoro gem terminated dog-tooth ruby was a last minute find in Tucson, 2011, preserving my perfect streak of running over budget. 



  Two large Tanzanian sapphires (left images) showed up at the Munich show in 2008 in the possession of a German lady who had owned them for a long time but could not remember which locality produced them.  In 2009, she brought two  more.   All are now in our collection.  The story is they may be from the Merelani Hills, but there is no definitive evidence - just hearsay; and my friends who are familiar with Tanzanian stones are unaware of any locality producing sapphires like these.  .