Resuscitating Emerald Sales

lfrederick@cahners.com Is there a sadder story in the jewelry industry than the calamity that’s struck emeralds? Until just a couple of years ago, the green stone remained glamorous and popular, with fine specimens commanding up to $2,700 a carat wholesale. Today emeralds languish as jewelry’s déclassé stones. Consumers are suspicious of them, prices are off 50% or more, and emerald dealers are going out of business. We all know the reason: TV exposés, publicity about the infamous Fred Ward case, and personal experience undermined consumer confidence. People were appalled to learn not only that emeralds are enhanced with fillers but also that the treatments don’t last and sometimes even turn the stone a sickly hue. Now a new Gemological Institute of America study shows consumers are justified in their wariness (see Gem Notes, p. 36 in this issue). Those treatments
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