Award winning ACE Africa

Award winning ACE Africa

Swala Gem Traders has been working closely with the award winning Ace Africa, in assisting local communities with prevention, counseling and treatment of HIV+ orphans and children in the Arusha region.

You will find more information on Ace Africa’s website. If you wish, you can donate money directly on their site.

Between 2004 and 2009 Swala Gem Traders' sister company, Evergreen Exploration was mining Tsavorite in Komolo. One aspect of the mining venture was helping local Maasai community

Helping local Maasai community

Between 2004 and 2009 Swala Gem Traders’ sister company, Evergreen Exploration was mining Tsavorite in Komolo. One aspect of the mining venture was helping local Maasai community by developing projects with them.

Attached is a certificate (18/03/2008 ) of appreciation from the Simanjiro district commissioner’s office for the construction of 2 classrooms at the Komolo primary School and the donation of a motorcycle to the local police station which did not have any means of transport.

Rescue mission in Marerani

Rescue mission in Marerani

On march 28, 2008 Swala Gem Traders contribute in kind and in cash for the rescue mission in Marerani, where a terrible flood killed and burried dozens of miners in Block B.

You can see more information about this event in this article.

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Old safari home page banners

This does not have much to do with gemmology, we’ll admit it…

Those of you who knew our older website were famillliar with our old safari home page banners. In the course of time we received a number of positive feedbacks. Although we don’t use these banners anymore we thought it would be nice to upload them onto the website. Probably a little nostalgia…

p.s.: you’ll have to click on the banners to see them fully


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Color-change garnet

Rare color-change garnet in G&G

A new color-change garnet deposit was discovered late 2011 in the province of Lindi (southern Tanzania). A few nice pieces were discovered including a very rare and impressive 11.73 cts gem. The deposit produced gems for only a short period of time (a few weeks). Swala Gem Traders bought rough during the entire production but only a few gems were large enough to cut center pieces. The 11.73 cts piece is not only very large but the color change is impressive, the stone is eye clean, well cut and polished. A fine collector’s item.

The full article can be found by clicking here

Swala in Condé Nast Traveler

Swala in Condé Nast Traveler

Christian Wright from the Condé Nast Traveler contacted us a few months ago as she was writing an article pertaining to gems being purchased during a trip abroad.

Many tourists who visit Tanzania plan to leave the country with a tanzanite or two. Unfortunately there are many frauds; from people buying badly cut stones, highly included gems to synthetic forsterite, glass or even plastic.

Based on our experience, Eric, from Swala Gem Traders, was quoted saying the following:

“Unlike the diamond industry, which is tightly regulated and sets uniform prices for grades of stones (see “From the Mine to Your Finger”), the colored gemstone business can seem like a free-for-all. There is no standard grading system for color, cut, and clarity, so pricing can be arbitrary and fraud is common when you’re not purchasing from established dealers. “It’s very easy for someone on the street to sell a piece of glass for $500 to a tourist who thinks it’s a fantastic deal,” says Eric Saul, of Swala Gem Traders in Tanzania, whose father introduced tanzanite to Tiffany & Co. in the 1960s. “Nobody’s going to buy a $200,000 Chevrolet, but they’ll pay a lot of money for a piece of glass if they don’t know any better.”


The full article, which we encourage you to read, can be found by clicking here 

rare tsavorites

A very rare tsavorites production

We recently purchased a very nice lot of rare tsavorites from the … tanzanite mines in Mererani! The miners were trying to produce Tanzanites, and ran into a series of exceptional Tsavorite pockets! Green grossular garnets, also known as mint garnets, are sometimes produced in Mererani (a few huge pieces have been mined in the past). However, these garnets are true tsavorites which is very unusual. Indeed, quite a few of these tsavorites are of the very finest color, absolutely beautiful! They are neither too light nor too dark. The color comes close to what I would call a “pure” green. Indeed, garnets are singly refractive, and in this particular case it is hard to describe yellow or blue as being secondary colors. A huge asset compared to emeralds! The references of these gems are from 10951 to 11000. These rare tsavorites each weigh between 1 and 2 cts. We’ve cut a few big pieces (above 4 carats).

To see another article and learn more about tsavorite on our website, it’s right here!

Demantoid garnets

A few new African demantoid garnets for sale

We’ve uploaded a few new African demantoid garnets and thought we would quickly write about them. Top demantoids are very expensive and will put a very serious dent in most wallets. We consider that the ones we’ve uploaded are nicely priced considering their characteristics.
The colors of these demantoid garnets are average to nice (a strong yellow component is usually not what people are looking for). However, all these gems are beautifully cut and polished. Cut is very important for demantoids as their dispersion is high. They are rather clean. Most importantly, their weights are important. Demantoids are usually not found in large sizes and weights are important in determining their prices.

A nice 3.79 cts pear shaped demantoid. The gem is green with a yellow component.

A nice 3.79 cts pear shaped demantoid. The gem is green with a yellow component.