Why have Mandarin Garnet, Tsavorite Garnet, and Mahenge Spinel Become so Expensive?

A couple of months ago, I saw a discussion on PriceScope about availability of Tsavorite and Mint Garnet, Mandarin and Spessartite Garnet, as well as Mahenge Spinel, all of which come from the same regions in Tanzania and Kenya.  As a vendor, I can’t post on PS – which is a good idea by the way – but the question was an interesting one so I want to post my two cents here on my blog.


Mint Garnet
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Mahenge Spinel Revisited

I've decided to do another blog entry on Mahenges not only because I am totally obsessed with them but also because I recently got to pick a small batch from a 2009 parcel that my supplier's uncle released from his vault.  The rest of the parcel went overseas but I got some neat stuff.  I'll be listing my pretties piece by piece for the upcoming holiday season.
As you may or may not know, Mahenge...
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How Are Gemstones Sourced, and is Their Sourcing Ethical?

That is actually a question I come across fairly often in some shape or other.  I.e. are your gems ethically sourced, do they meet the Kimberly standards, are they Fair Trade?  I have written about this before, but I think it is time to revisit the issue.
Three observations, an anecdote, and finally an indeterminate conclusion: First observation. Most countries in which gemstones are mined these...
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The Danburites of Morogoro

I love unusual gemstones, as you know, and if my gemstone dealer has anything of interest, no matter how tiny the production, he usually shows me first. So you can imagine my surprise when he had me guess what the three teaspoons of clean yellow material were that he pulled out of a little plastic bag a couple of weeks ago. I know Danburite to be clear or faint vanilla color but had never seen...
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Mandarin Garnet

I haven’t written much about Mandarin garnets because I don’t really like orange as a color, and so I’ve ignored this gem for a long time.  But now I think I didn’t do it justice.
Spessartite, the garnet group that Mandarin garnet falls under, has only been on the gemstone market for a little over 10 years. Although tiny amounts have been found in Germany, California, and Sri Lanka, among other...
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