Gemstones: Colombian Emeralds in Short Supply, Montana Sapphires in Demand

Rain on Colombia’s ParadeMother Nature was not smiling on the emerald industry in July, bringing intense rains down on Colombia. “Emerald buyers in Bogotá habitually take a break when it rains,” explains dealer Ron Rings­rud, who recently returned from the capital. “The dark clouds ruin the north daylight they are accustomed to buying with.” This year’s stormy season was particularly heavy. In addition, government restrictions have reportedly caused dynamite shortages, leading to scaled-back mining activity. Industry analysts are expecting these factors, although temporary, to result in Colombian emerald shortages—not to mention higher prices—for at least the last half of 2010. So far this year, demand for emeralds has been good in the major international markets. And even in the United States, where there’s been less demand, Ringsrud notes, “emerald calls from jewe

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