The Tucson Effect: Gem Pricing, April 2014

A strong showing at February’s gem shows bodes well for the trade

Gemstone markets in the United States remain positive. Dealers have had an opportunity to digest information regarding buying and spending patterns in Tucson and are generally confident about the direction the market is going. Reports from the Hong Kong International Jewellery Show in early March were also mostly upbeat, with both fine colored gems and diamonds reportedly in high demand.

Price increases for popular sizes and qualities in the classic gems continue to drive interest in lesser-known gem materials. Agates, opals, garnets, beryls, diopside, and a host of other affordable gems are selling well.

One trend identified during the Arizona gem shows in February is the strong interest that retail jewelers are showing for gems mined in North America. There are quite a number of stones produced domestically, mostly in smaller quantities, which makes the allure of American gems even more appealing. Retailers will find stable markets for Montana sapphire, Four Peaks amethyst (mined in Arizona), garnet from Arizona and Idaho, and agate of various natural colors and varieties (found in Oregon and Utah, among other locations). Expect the “made in America” focus to be strong at JCK Las Vegas.