gemstone market report from issue 59

by rm weare & co

Ruby prices increase every year as the demand continues to grow and the supply struggles to keep up.

The supply of rubies from Myanmar, the source of the majority of rubies used, is declining, especially in the top quality material. This has led to cutters and dealers looking for the next big source of ruby rough. Ruby is found in many different countries but there are few localities where top quality material is found.

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rock n Gem magazine issue 59


Winza in Tanzania saw a gem rush in 2008/9 and brought many cutters and dealers to East Africa, this was followed by the discovery of ruby deposits in Mozambique. The Niassa deposits was quickly exploited by illegal miners, this led to the owners of some of the Cabo Delgado deposits taking measures to protect their resources from similar theft.

The British company Gemfields has created a joint venture mining company with the owners of the Montepuez deposits, and is currently carrying out bulk sampling analysis and undertaking infrastructure development in order to be able to start making offerings to the world market later in this year. Meanwhile large quantities of rubies are being offered on the open market that originate from the same northern Mozambican region as the area becomes the world’s major ruby mining source.

Despite hardened times, the demand for top quality ruby seems to be increasing as people look to invest in gemstones other than diamond. The dwindling supply and the increasing demand make such stones a reliable area to invest in for the long term.

Sapphire is in a similar position. The traditional sources of quality stones such as Sri Lanka and Burma are much depleted and the new African reserves are small and not yielding the same high quality sapphires.

Dealers are expecting to see price increases of between 10 and 20%, especially as the USA market rebounds and the Chinese and South East Asian markets continue to strengthen.

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