The market is shaping up well in the long term. In the short term, beware rising wholesale costs.
At the wholesale level of the colored stone market, dealers continue to express optimism as the industry gears up for the JCK Las Vegas show. In the United States, demand is centered on a relatively broad base of gems, with dealers adjusting inventory in response to active price points and trends. The forecast in the Asian markets also looks pretty good.
The Thai Gem and Jewelry Traders Association recently announced that gemstone exports in 2013 had increased 23 percent compared with 2012. The story, reported in Jewellery News Asia, noted that Thailand remains a dominant trading center for ruby and sapphire. In addition to corundum, however, tourmaline, aquamarine, tanzanite, and emerald are also well represented in the Thai market. Buyers are interested mostly in high-end gems and, as a result, supply is tight.
The second half of 2014 is poised for growth. China continues to be a strong consumer of finer colored stones. But conditions in the United States have also improved, and the market is seeing good demand once again. During the second half of the year, blue and pink sapphires, rubellite, bicolor tourmaline, green tourmaline, lavender and pink spinels, and emerald are expected to see strong demand as are large, bright Chinese freshwater pearls.