Top Qualities Sell for Holiday

MARKET IN BRIEF:Jan. 5, 2005… Dealer assessments of holiday sales are mixed. This year the top end of the market was active with good demand for fine quality gems. Demand for unenhanced ruby and sapphire was strong. However, sales of the lower- and mid-price-point jewelry lagged behind expectations. Internet-based gem and jewelry companies posted the largest increase in sales this season. The market is in a transition edging away from its cautious stance. Expectations for 2005 include increased demand for unusual gem materials. Chrysocolla and chrysoprase are just two of the chalcedonies currently enjoying immense popularity with designers and custom jewelers. Limited production in 2004 for many gem materials is likely to result in higher prices this year. Consumer demand is improved, but supplies of fine-quality stones in many of the traditional colored stones including ruby, sapphi

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