Saniniu Kuryan Laizer, a small scale miner in Tanzania, recently became an overnight millionaire after uncovering the world’s two largest tanzanite crystals to date. The whopping 9.27kg and 5.1kg stones easily surpassed the previous record-holder of 3.3 kg.

Laizer’s two large tanzanites were quickly snapped up by the Tanzania government and will be kept in the national museum as part of Tanzania’s national treasure.

What will Laizer do with his €2.9 ($3.3) million windfall? After a big celebration, he plans to give back to his community: he intends to build a shopping mall and a local school. He will also share 10% of the proceeds with his workers. After that he says it will be life as usual - he will continue his life as a cattle farmer and small scale miner. (source: BBC News)

The deep colours and clarity of these exceptional gems easily rival top quality blue sapphire, making them an instant hit with collectors worldwide. Tiffany&Co was the first to buy Tanzanite gems, but over the years the gem has made its way into many fine contemporary jewellery collections, including that of DesignYard makers like Jean Scott-Moncrieff, Barbara Bertagnolli, and Sophia Epp.

Model wears bangle by Barbara Bertgnolli at designyard contemporary jewellery gallery Dublin Ireland

Rarer than diamonds, tanzanite was first discovered in 1971 and is produced on a 2km by 4km stretch of land at the foot of the Kilimanjaro mountains. Geologists say that the exceptional conditions that formed these gems are unlikely to be present anywhere else in the world - so once they're gone, they're gone! We love that small scale mining and increased government involvement in mining operations, means it is possible to trace gems back to the source and guarantees gems were ethically produced.

Elegant tanzanite drop earrings by Jean Scott-Moncrieff at designyard contemporary jewellery gallery dublin irelandTanzanite and gold necklace by Jean Scott-Moncrieff at designyard contemporary jewellery gallery dublin Ireland

Rare & highly covetable, yet relatively affordable, there is no better time to buy tanzanite. As more people are learning about its exceptional qualities, demand and prices for these rare beauties are on the rise. Paired with its increasing scarcity, we expect tanzanite gem prices to continue this upward trend. However, only time will tell whether tanzanite will follow the path of the Paraiba tourmaline, which - now nearly mined out - commands prices on par with quality diamonds!

Loose tanzanite gems - left to right: emerald cut, trillion cut, square radiant cut, radiant cut.
Tanzanite is available in many shapes and sizes - here is a selection of 2-4 karat loose gems. Can you see that rich violet-blue that tanzanite is so prized for?

At DesignYard we can help you find your perfect tanzanite - be it a loose gem for investment purposes or one set in a meaningful bespoke piece of jewellery. Contact us to let us know what you have in mind at - we look forward to hearing from you.

November 02, 2023 — Nicole van der Wolf