Tanzanite was found on the steps of the Kilimanjaro.
“IT IS THE ONLY KNOWN SOURCE ON THE PLANET TO THIS DAY”
Not long ago KREIS traveled to East Africa to find a gem for a new piece of jewelry. Located between Kenya and Mozambique, Tanzania borders on the Indian Ocean right in front of the Seychelles. “We settled on the tanzanite fairly quickly,” says Alexander Kreis. Many gemstones can be found in different places around the globe. Not so tanzanite. He further explains: “Tanzania is around twice the size of California. However, all the mining takes place in an area 2km x 4km. It is the only known source on the planet to this day.”
FINDING THE RIGHT STONE
Mining takes place in a depth of up to 1,200 meters (around 3.900ft.) Workers can do their job in brief intervals only. The temperature at such a depth requires them to take regular breaks in designated cooling areas. Given this situation, Stefan Kreis says, “Getting outstanding rough stones that can be fashioned into an outstanding piece of jewelry and art is difficult. We want a stone of extraordinary size, clarity, and intensity of color.” Those are the ones with the best pre-requisite of preserving and even growing in value. But having an extraordinary piece of rough stone is no guarantee for success. For the high-quality gems, a classical fashioning style can be counterproductive.
CUTTING THE ROUGH
“Using a classic cut style to get the proportions right, too much of the material could be wasted. The gemstone would become flat in the process and a lot of its deep blue color would be lost forever”, Alexander remarks. Thus, for KREIS, cutting is an intuitive adventure. Hence, it is all about the encapsulation of the innate beauty. Free forms allow for more reflection if fashioned right. A gem will have more sparkle and exhibit the best color residing in a rough stone that can be extracted.
“This is achieved by the interplay of light that shines through the facets on the gems’ surface and are being reflected by the facets on the back of the gem. Done right, this will allow for a sparkling firework of light”, Alexander explains further; “You can only get it right once. It is not like Baseball. There are no three chances to get it right. One strike and you are out. The stone can never be its best again. This is why it can take months before we apply a single cut.”