Gem Trade Bets on Vegas: Gem Pricing, May 2015

After a solid start with what was, by most accounts, a better than expected Tucson Gem Week, business has slowed. Dealers returning from the March Hong Kong show gave contrasting reports, but most said results were below expectations. Baselworld, which opened in Switzerland March 19, was reportedly slow as well.This recent shift in demand for gems and jewelry likely stems from the current turmoil on the global stage. China’s economy has slowed, and as a result, Chinese buyers are becoming more cautious. Thus, certain gems that had recently enjoyed high demand in China—e.g., extra-fine rubellite tourmaline—have all but disappeared from the market. One can only speculate that dealers are holding them off the market now in hopes that Chinese buyers will return to pay prices that no one else currently seems willing to pay. Demand from Russia has also declined sharply (that country’s

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