Prices for fine-quality gems are on the upswing, but the midrange also gets a lift
Gem dealers in the United States are growing more optimistic by the day. Demand continues to be strong for ruby, sapphire, and emerald, in particular. Retail demand is primarily for the fine and commercial qualities, although demand for midlevel qualities is reportedly much better than it has been in recent years.
In Sri Lanka, dealers are reporting strong demand for unheated blue sapphire, especially in the 3 to 5 ct. range. Fine-quality sapphires have seen a strong increase in price during the past 12 months with some 5 ct.-plus sizes seeing a 70 percent increase. In spite of the rapid ascent in prices, dealers are actively buying.
U.S. demand is notably strong for finer quality and bigger stones (think 5 ct. blue). In China, demand is also quite strong, but there has been a shift toward smaller finer quality gems sourced from China’s manufacturers. In Europe, demand is strong and the emphasis is clearly on fine gems. Globally, commercial quality sapphire also is moving, but stock levels are good and prices have remained steady year to year.
American diamond wholesalers report strong demand for well-made 0.3 to 1.25 ct. rounds in the G–H VS–SI range. Buyers are focusing on immediate needs with very little appetite for building inventory. Prices have been declining slightly in some of the round categories, but shortages of more desirable goods are keeping the broader market stable. Fancy shapes continue to benefit from the disparity with round prices. In particular, cushion, princess, pear, and emerald cuts are doing well. Price increases have been reported for well-made 0.9 ct., 1.5 ct., and 2 ct. fancies.