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 nontraditional gemstones.

Some dealers are evolving quickly in response to the recession, offering clients high-end designs in a range of gemstones to meet key price points. Color substitution was apparent as designers aggressively work to protect market position. Spinel for ruby was one exchange.

Attractive transparent rhodocrosite was featured in a line from Columbia Gem House, which has also introduced an attractively priced andradite garnet line. Clearly, jewelry remains relevant, and the occasions for which it has played a symbolic role continue.

Diamond: 1/4 ct. round

VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2
G $1,495 $1,350 $1,200 $1,050
H $1,400 $1,300 $1,070 $950
I $1,260 $1,150 $950 $900
J $1,100 $1,000 $900 $850

Diamond: 1/2 ct. round

VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2
G $3,200 $2,800 $2,400 $2,000
H $2,800 $2,400 $2,200 $1,800
I $2,200 $2,100 $1,900 $1,700
J $1,900 $1,800 $1,700 $1,600

Diamond: 1 ct. round

VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2
G $6,500 $6,100 $5,000 $4,300
H $5,500 $5,300 $4,600 $4,100
I $4,200 $4,000 $3,800 $3,600
J $3,800 $3,600 $3,200 $3,000

Diamond: 2 ct. round

VS1 VS2 SI1 SI2
G $12,300 $10,900 $9,400 $8,100
H $10,200 $9,400 $7,900 $7,200
I $8,700 $8,000 $7,200 $6,700
J $6,800 $6,300 $5,900 $5,500

Fancy Pink Diamond: 1 ct. radiant

VS SI I1
$60K–$85K $45K–$75K $30K–$43K

Red Spinel

Good Fine
2 to under 3 cts. $150–$500 $500–$800
3 to under 5 cts. $250–$550 $750–$2,500

Blue Sapphire

Good Fine
1 to under 2 cts. $125–$420 $420–$1,250
2 to under 3 cts. $325–$750 $750–$2,000

Akoya Pearls (by the strand)

Fine Extra-Fine
18-in. strands, 6 to 6.5 mm $650–$850 $1,000–$1,200

Nigerian Spessartite Garnet

Good Fine
1 to under 2 cts. $75–$90 $90–$120
2 to under 3 cts. $90–$125 $120–$160

Blue Zircon

Good Fine
1 to under 3 cts. $20–$50 $50–$75
3 to under 5 cts. $35–$75 $75–$150

Round Tahitian Black Pearls

Good Fine
8 to 8.5 mm $30–$60 $60–$120
10 to 10.5 mm $35–$90 $90–$150

Tanzanite

Good Fine
1 to under 2 cts. $175–$325 $300–$400
2 to under 5 cts. $250–$450 $400–$475

Pink Topaz

Good Fine
1 to under 3 cts. $125–$350 $350–$700
3 to under 5 cts. $180–$425 $425–$900

Prices shown represent actual wholesale memorandum prices paid by retail jewelers on a per-stone basis. All prices are per carat except for cultured pearls. No responsibility or liability is assumed for the consequences of the use of any information in this report, nor for errors or omissions. The terms Commercial, Good, Fine, and Extra-Fine are general classifications developed and used by The Guide. Each represents a range of individual quality grades. When they are used in conjunction with proper grading, one can accurately pinpoint a price from within the listed range. A one-year subscription to The Guide includes six diamond issues (bimonthly); six newsletters (bimonthly); two colored-stone issues including pearls, opals, and jade (biannual); and The Guide Reference Manual. For more information, contact Gemworld International Inc., 630 Dundee Road, Suite 230, Northbrook, IL 60062; (888) GEMGUIDE or (847) 564-0555, fax (847) 564-0557. U.S., Canada, Mexico, $205 complete per year. Elsewhere $275 complete per year.