Gem Pricing Report: Affordable Luxuries

A subdued gemstone market reflects consumer demand for price point goodsThe JCK Las Vegas show revealed that attitude in the trade is improving, but the colored stone market still lacks enthusiasm. Consumers are far more price conscious today than they were during better times. As a result, sales activity for colored stones remains concentrated at the very high and low ends. The price of gold and other precious metals also is influencing the quality and gem varieties being consumed. “Gold has reached all-time highs during the past few years, and this pushes jewelry prices up, even as the middle classes have less money to spend,” says Richard Hughes of Sino Resource Mining Corp. in Hong Kong. “The result of which is manufacturers use less gold, lower karat gold, move to silver, and lower the quality of the stones used in jewelry.” Hughes’ last point is particularly apparent

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