gemstone market report
a regular feature provided by
RM Weare & Co
The production of polished rubies and sapphires appears to be steady but the demand far outstrips supply which means there is a continuing increase in prices. Ruby prices are increasing at a slower rate than they have been over the last two years but compared to Sapphire the prices are still much higher. The result of this is that Sapphire prices are increasing at a faster rate, as the market recognises that you can get more for your money. This is especially true of blue, purple and unheated material.
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The secondary gem market is becoming more important to the supply of top quality gems. Fine quality stones are becoming increasingly difficult to source on the new polished market and so for some gem varieties auction houses are becoming crucial to supply. This is especially true in the USA market, where due to the continuing ban on the import of Burmese Ruby there is a very high demand for stones found in the secondary domestic market where the ban is not applicable.
The Paraiba Tourmaline mines in Brazil are exhausted and are no longer being worked and whilst the name can be applied to similar compositional material the quality isn’t available from any other locality, this means that demand for the vivid neon blue gemstones seen in the early 1980’s are only being fulfilled by second hand gemstones, however the prices are at a higher level now than they were at the height of their popularity with prices for 3ct stones easily being over £10,000 per carat at trade value.
The successful culturing of South Sea Pearls is leading to a scarcity in supply of baroque pearls.
Culturing techniques, especially the use of X-ray to check on the culturing pearls shape and quality, now achieve such consistent spherical shapes with high lustre that there is a shortage of irregular shaped material for which there is still demand.