102 West 79th Street
New York, NY 10024
Monday – Sunday:
10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Astro West is owned and run by Marc Tanjeloff, a 3rd Generation Mineral dealer. Once Vice President of Astro Gallery which is still family owned and operated since its founding in 1963. Its founder, Julio Tanjeloff, was a successful businessman in Buenos Aires, Argentina. By 1961, Julio had emigrated to New York City with his family and having become infatuated by minerals, he opened the spectacular Astro Minerals in 1963. The operation quickly grew into a stunningly lavish 16,000 square foot establishment that drew mineral collectors, gem collectors, celebrities, politicians, interior decorators, architects, and designers. In 1970, he began publishing Mineral Digest to promote minerals and his business, which still ranks as the most extravagant mineral periodical of all time. This new venture is a tribute to Marc’s Grandfather with a more in depth concentration of Mineral collecting.
Around 1967, gem grade blue zoisiste was discovered in Tanzania, and Julio was the first person to bring the crystal into the United States. Calling his new find Tanjeloffite, Julio proudly displayed his eponymous rock for sale throughout his stores. In a famous dispute with retailer Tiffany & Company, rather than use the name Tanjeloffite for the stone, Tiffany & Company marketed the rock under the moniker Tanzanite. The latter name stuck. It wasn’t until 2008, when the mineralogical record was amended to include the lesser known name, Tanjeloffite, as an official name of the stone, that Julio Tanjeloff was properly honored.