Gem Pricing: Going for the Gold (and Silver)

Precious metals are hot, but cost is, as always, a delicate issue

Dealers report that mining remains scaled back in response to a soft marketplace. Demand is improving in the United States for diamonds and colored stones but remains weaker than prerecession levels. Consumers continue to focus on fine material in smaller sizes instead of larger commercial material, while demand for midgrade goods is sluggish. Active price points have been forced higher on the back of increased costs for such materials as gold and silver, both of which are trending stronger than a year ago. Even so, buyers are resisting anything more than modest increases. This season’s active retail price points are projected to be at or below $1,000 and above $5,500.