Kazanjian's had a long history with rubies since 1913 when Harry Kazanjian learned how to cut sapphires and rubies in Paris. Once he finally came over to the United States, he and his brother James kept searching the world for great rubies. One of their main finds was in the 1950s they discovered the production of the Longido ruby mine in Tanzania.

The story of the Longido mine was there were two British prospectors that had come down from Kenya, where they had found rubies, and knew that there must be rubies in Tanzania nearby where they thought ... it was rumored that King Solomon's mines were in this area, so they had to have rubies. So they looked for many years and finally one day one of the brothers walked into a valley and there were rubies all over the ground, and some were these very large, purplish-red, kind of opaque rubies with zoisite attached to them, and then some smaller ones, which were an orangeish-red color.

He was so excited, so he got his partner to come up and the two of them were looking at ... started mining the hillsides there. Each day they would come up. There were trees knocked down over the ... This is a funny story about the thing. There were trees knocked down over the roads and it turns out these elephants were getting upset that they were trespassing, would knock trees down over the pass. So the guys go and they collected hundred of thousands of carats of rubies from the mine. They sent it to London to be cut and sold, and the dealer in London stole it from them.

So they were very disillusioned. They didn't know what to do. They put a couple of the stones in a museum in Tanzania and just gave up. Years later, a couple years later, one of my grandfather's friends walked through that museum, saw these rubies, asked where they were from. The curator told him where. He went to this guy's house and found a few hundred thousand carats of rubies, called up my grandfather, who bought all of it.

So we started cutting the Longido rubies from Tanzania, and from those came the largest one in the world, the 8500-carat Liberty Bell ruby is from that. It was from the large zoisite purplish-red stones that are really nice for carvings but you can't cut beautiful gems out of them. But they're the largest in the world, and a lot of these very nice orangeish-red color rubies, which later would be very relevant for us because they're very similar in color to our red diamond.

So that was the start of really Kazanjian being known for rubies and since then we've bought rubies in Burma, in Thailand, and all over Africa, and we collect them from all parts of the world.