Gem Pricing Report

The AGTA GemFair in Tucson, Ariz., illustrated the strength of the global gem trade. Although prices for most colored stone varieties are down, that was largely limited to commercial and good-quality grades. Fine-quality material is holding value fairly well, and extra-fine goods are scarce in most top-selling gems. Production of rough has dropped because of lack of buyers in key markets. Today's buyers must pay cash or have excellent payment histories. Dealers and manufacturers are extremely cautious about issuing memos, and retailers will need to adjust. Results of the show were better than expected. Dealers said traffic was down considerably from 2008, but there were few lookers. Attendees wanted to do business. Few sales appeared to be for inventory. Most buyers had specific needs related to custom orders or repairs, although several placed orders for finished jewelry with nontra

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