Tiffany’s brand of brilliant marketing: arrive first and proclaim it spectacular

Image courtesy of

Image courtesy of

We learn a couple of things from this Tiffany’s/tanzanite story: 1) Fashion and the luxury market, are always looking for the next big thing. 2) Control of a world market to any product (i.e. Tanzanite) translates into financial windfall.

In 2015 Tiffany & Co passed $1 billion earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization, with an enterprise value of about $10 billion dollars; Proclaiming "Tiffany & Co the world’s premier jeweler and America’s house of design".

While it's true that Tiffany's is a going concern worldwide; it's also true that Tiffany's was established in 1837. Despite the glorious inference, that certainly doesn't mean the mega luxury brand was a going concern since 1837. The mom and pop jeweler really went unnoticed much before the 1960s.

Image courtesy of  Richland gemstones

Image courtesy of Richland gemstones

1968 Tiffany's sees value in Tanzanite.

The exact story of tanzanite’s discovery remains something of a mystery but Maasai communities-a Nilotic ethnic group of semi-nomadic people inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania-built their own legends around this miraculous find. They tell stories of how the land set ablaze by a bolt of lightning, believing the heat from this ‘magic fire in the sky’, gave birth to this valuable coloured gemstone.

The Maasai tribesman, Ali Juuyawatu, first shared his blue-violet crystal find with Manuel de Souza (a Tailor by profession and prospector by passion) who was in the region searching for rubies. At first it was thought the stones were unusually vibrant sapphires, but the new gemstones were more complex than a sapphire, their colour more exotic. Manuel de Souza had no idea he’d encountered a gemstone the world had never seen, one that remained unnamed.

Tiffany & Co. heard about the new precious stone discovery in Tanzania and were the first to bring this dazzling gemstone to the world. Christening the new find ‘tanzanite’ after its country of origin, Tiffany declared it to be “the most beautiful blue stone to be discovered in 2,000 years.” Tiffany proudly stated that tanzanite could be found in only two places in the world… “in Tanzania and at Tiffany’s.”

Heralded “the gemstone of the 20th century”, tanzanite’s blue-purple fire soon took the world by storm and demand for tanzanite jewellery grew dramatically. In 1998 and 1999 tanzanite was proclaimed the world’s best-selling coloured gemstone. Today, demand for tanzanite continues, outstripping sales of all other coloured gemstones. Jay-z bought Beyoncé a spectacular 10 carat tanzanite ring, one of many examples to officially embed this gem in pop culture.

Tanzanite is a rare gem. All of the known deposits are confined to a few square miles of land in northern Tanzania. It is the only gemstone with a large and rapidly growing popularity that has such a limited known supply. Some people believe that the currently-known tanzanite resource could be depleted in just a few decades. Thus many investors buy Tanzanite equating rarity with potential for increased value.

We learn a couple of things from this Tiffany's/tanzanite story: 1) Fashion and the luxury market, are always looking for the next big thing. 2) Control of a world market to any product (i.e. Tanzanite) translates into financial windfall.

One of the companies I founded has discovered what we believe is the next big thing in the luxury gemstone market. If you are an accredited investor or simply a friend and you are interested in knowing more, feel free to contact us at the link below.