gemstone market report

a regular feature provided by
RM Weare & Co

Despite a slow lead up to Christmas, it seems that 2014 has started on a positive note. From conversations with our customers January trade was good with last minute Christmas orders being fulfilled in the New Year.
February trade was up on the last few years and with requirements for better coloured stones and diamond demand for cheaper qualities booming.

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Moonstone, Labradorite, and Morganite have been very popular gems, with normally six months of orders being taken within the first weeks of February. The trend has been a surprise to us and one that we didn’t see coming. Any explanations on a post card please.

The first buying trip of the year to Bangkok was marred by the ongoing political unrest in Bangkok. Road blocks around the city – particularly around Silom Road and the Bangrak area, were causing problems with moving and with over 700 people injured and 20 dead since November there is a real feeling of insecurity and fear.

The cutters that Kerrie and Alison visited reported that they had deterred their customers from visiting; a courtesy they hadn’t shown us as they felt that something more than civil unrest would be required to stop our buyers getting to quality stones.

The Bangkok Gems and Jewellery show was noticeably quiet, but those who did make the effort to attend were serious buyers.
The following week the Hong Kong show had a different atmosphere entirely; its popularity with both the exhibitors and the visitors reflecting the importance of the Chinese market to the global gem trade and the declining dominance of Thailand as a gemstone centre.

Costs have levelled out for most gemstones, the large price hikes of 2012 and 2013 seem to have stabilised, although for how long is anyone’s guess as demand is still very high.
Buyers of larger and better quality stones are insisting on certification.

There was a noticeable shortage of cheaper African sapphire and the price of good Australian ‘mid’ deep blue material is still very high. Better quality Rubies was predominantly from Mozambique, but there was no shortage or more commercial grade Burmese material.

Fine quality Aquamarine was very expensive and in short supply. Prices of Tanzanite has declined for a little while and despite resurgence in demand from its traditional heartland of the USA the prices seem to have remained stable, although well cut AAAA material are always harder to find.


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