Gem Pricing Report

The U.S. wholesale market is slow. High prices for food and energy have cut into consumer spending on nonessentials. But a recent decline in gold and oil prices as the dollar firmed may mean the commodity bubble has burst. This could rein in gas prices, which would improve consumer confidence. In the colored stone market, dealers are coping with the ban on gem and mineral exports imposed by the government in Madagascar. A source in France reports that a delegation from Thailand traveled to Madagascar and requested that gem rough purchased by its members before the ban be cleared for release to Thai cutters. Their request was denied. This situation stems from the legal export of a large emerald specimen from Madagascar to France, which the president of Madagascar wants back. (He claims it's a national treasure.) Because the piece was legally exported and has since left France, its retur

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