After several sluggish years, the United States is shaping up to be the one global gemstone market with definitive growth potential. With the Chinese market slowing, the European Union experiencing challenges, and sanctions curbing Russia’s appetite for luxury, gem dealers once again are looking to North America to invest. This was apparent during JCK Las Vegas, where the number of foreign buyers, especially from China, appeared less than in recent years. Rather, high-end dealers said calls are generally coming from the domestic market.
This summer there is more imperial topaz on the market. Prices, however, are higher than this time last year due to demand from designers and custom jewelers. The term imperial is often misapplied to any topaz ranging from yellow to orangey-yellow. But true imperial topaz has an almost orange color accentuated by slightly purplish-red overtones. Prices for fine to extra fine material in 3 to 5 ct. sizes are up approximately 25 percent in the past 12 months.
At the midpoint of the year, the U.S. colored stone industry is positioned to experience growth driven by the domestic market. Dealers are cautiously predicting that the holiday season will be luxury-focused this year.