Gem Pricing Report

For five years the hottest segment of the colored-stone market has been high-end unenhanced ruby and sapphire. Prices increased dramatically for the fine and extra-fine categories. A major factor in the price volatility has been consumption in emerging markets. With prices at record levels, sales of truly gemmy natural ruby and sapphire are limited to the wealthiest consumers. By June, dealers were reporting a marked slowdown at this level of the market. Roland Schluessel, Pillar and Stone, tells JCK, “Currently demand is concentrated around the unusual gem materials. We are doing well with stones like danburite and large, nicely colored zircon. But unenhanced fine ruby has been slow.” Schluessel thinks the strong stock market is a factor. “Now, only the rich can afford the top-quality stones. But with the Dow at record levels, there is no incentive to pull money out of the stock

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