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Cecile Raley Designs

Gem Buying in Tanzania: Rubies Rubies Rubies

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Gem Buying in Tanzania: Rubies Rubies Rubies

As promised, let me tell you about the gems I saw, or didn't see, in Tanzania: on my second day, I spent rather a lot of time inside the little gem and jewelry shop owned by one of the few Tanzania retailers, a Greek immigrant named "Reno", born in Kenya.  The shop is right inside the Mount Meru hotel.  After sipping some excellent Greek coffee in his office and discussing current politics and Trade issues with Reno, his daughter Despina showed me their entire stock, where I was allowed to pick at wholesale prices.   As you know, I am by...

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A Little Trip (Madagascar Part IV)

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

A Little Trip (Madagascar Part IV)

Thursday afternoon two interesting bits of news reached us.  The first: There had been a new find of tourmaline near the mine of Ambatonapetraka (near Ibity) by the local bandit tribe, the Dahalo.  The news spread like wildfire.  The material was in crystal form only, possibly some cutting grade material also, it was pinkish and very pretty.  Nobody knew exactly how much was found, but after many phone calls many of the brokers disappeared to Ibity to try to acquire some of it – as Vazahy (white) it wasn’t safe fo us to go.  Jochen managed to buy one piece...

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Madagascar Gem Shopping (Part III)

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Madagascar Gem Shopping (Part III)

On my second day gem shopping in Antsirabe, I bought one piece of purple spinel from Ilakaka, 1.1 cts, and a small parcel of 3mm-ish spinel rounds that will need to be sorted and parceled.  I saw a lot of very dark aquamarine, quite included but super pretty otherwise, not sure what the price should have been but asking prices were high in my view, so I passed on almost all of it.  And I passed on gobs of the lighter aqua because I still have some from last time.  Ditto with all yellow beryl and morganite, as well as white...

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Travels to Antsirabe and Local Gem Buying (Part II)

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

Travels to Antsirabe and Local Gem Buying (Part II)

After a 4:30 a.m. morning rise (for which neither of our alarms rang but Jochen appeared to have an internal clock), we made our way to the ferry terminal for the 6 a.m. ferry to the mainland town of Anify.  The ferry was big enough for exactly two cars, and it went as fast as a turtle.  So it took us two hours to reach Anify which was perhaps a distance of 10km.  But it allowed for a beautiful morning view of the sunrise and a nice nap on the backseat of the 4-wheel Toyota with the “tuk tuk” of...

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Madagascar – A New Trip, New Experiences, New Gems (Part I)

Posted by Yvonne Raley on

The first destination on my most recent trip to Madagascar was the Island of Nosy Be, slightly to the northwest of Madagascar and very close to the coast.  Before starting my gem buying, I allowed myself a few relaxing days under palm trees.  On my eight-hour night flight from Amsterdam to Nairobi I met up with my travel buddy Jochen Hintze from Jentsch Minerals.  We had so much to catch up on during the flight that I missed out on a bit of sleep.  Luckily the Business Class Lounge in Nairobi has some couches, where I ended up crashing for...

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