The market faces a summertime slowdown
The U.S. colored stone market is experiencing limited activity in a range of products. Sapphire, garnet, peridot, and quartz are particularly active sellers this summer. However, consumption levels in general remain light. Buying patterns suggest that purchases are for specific orders as opposed to inventory building. Where dealers do see steady demand is in finer-quality gems. Wholesalers are cautiously optimistic that the fine designs created with quality and price point in mind will captivate buyers this season.
One area of growing concern: the ruby market. Dealers report that inventories for better-grade material are very lean. Many consumers are purportedly unfamiliar with the U.S. embargo on Burmese imports and are still requesting them, while retail jewelers are having difficulty sourcing stones. Prices for extra fine grade pre-embargo Burmese rubies are very firm.
In the diamond market, dealers are reporting that 1 and 1.5 ct. rounds in VS to SI1 and G–H color are in strong demand. Princess and cushion cuts are also popular. Prices for 3 ct. stones are firm, while well-made stones larger than 4 cts. are difficult to find.