The Bounce Back: Gem Pricing, September 2014

The dog days of summer should soon segue into the brisk business of fall

The U.S. gem market is in the midst of its typical summer slowdown. In the diamond market, dealers report that business is consistent with ­expectations for the season. Demand remains concentrated on well-made rounds and ovals in 0.5 ct. to 1 ct. sizes, but overall trading levels are modest. Tight margins continue to be a concern, especially given the extent to which retail ­jewelers are relying on memo goods as opposed to investing in goods to fill their showcases. 

Colored stone dealers are reporting similarly soft conditions. There are, however, some bright spots as colored stone producers continue to report good demand ahead of this month’s Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair. ­Aquamarine, lavender spinel, pink spinel, tsavorite garnet, red and copper bearing tourmalines, emerald, and sapphire are just some of the standouts this year. A number of agates as well as lesser known and nontraditional gemstones have also been drawing attention for their beauty and appealing prices. Among these are chrysocolla, sphene, scapolite, danburite, diopside, and rhodochrosite.  

Reports of coated tanzanite are once again circulating in the market. The prevalence is not yet known, but there is no indication at this point that anything other than a small percentage of material is affected. It’s a good reminder to be vigilant when examining any stone for purchase or appraisal.