Gem Pricing: Unconventional Wisdom

Retailers hope attractively priced nontraditional gems will beat holiday expectationsExhibitors report that attendance at the regional summer shows in the United States was down from 2011. The number of attendees who were active buyers has greatly improved, however. In colored stones, both estate pieces and fine loose stones have experienced particularly strong interest. The market continues to find demand focused on high-end gems as well as on low-end, price point–­specific stones.This year, the retail market is seeing greater interest in nontraditional gem materials. Affordable agates, chrome diopside, fluorite, and labradorite are just a few of the materials transitioning from fashion jewelry into the fine jewelry market. These materials are attractive to retailers trying to provide cost-conscious consumers with more stylish options.In the diamond market, recent price declines for

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