Posted on February 08 2023
Several of the jewelers I work with sell loose gemstones wholesale. Recently, they have traveled to places like Sri Lanka, Ethiopia, and Zambia to restock their colored gemstones. They tell me that prices have risen substantially. Gemstone prices had increased by about 50% from March 2020 to mid-2021 while they were in lockdown from COVID. They’ve been unable to replace what they had sold with the profit they had made.
The COVID pandemic affected the excavation, cutting, retailing, and marketing of loose gems. The mining of gemstones was halted in many places by the labor shortage. Gemstone centers were in lockdown (in Jaipur for more than a year!), which directly affected production and demand, creating supply chain and market disruptions. There was no tourist industry during the pandemic, and it didn’t resume until late 2022. This affected many retail stores, while trade shows and auctions were canceled.
The market remains disrupted. Rising fuel prices, for example, used to operate the mining equipment and for shipping to market, have had a tremendous influence. Some countries are under trade sanctions that affect precious gemstones like sapphires, rubies, and emeralds. For example, sanctions against Myanmar’s gem mining industry effectively banned Burmese sapphires and rubies. Governmental instability in Sri Lanka and Madagascar has also pushed prices up and made it more difficult to mine emeralds, sapphires, opals, and other gemstones.
These factors and others have caused short-term colored gemstone price increases and may cause long-term trend price increases.
What does all this mean?
Experts predict the market will continue to be unsettled for the next twelve months. This means that prices are expected to continue to rise. Purchasing colored gemstones, especially sapphires, rubies, and emeralds, may be an option for some people looking to own hard assets.
At Gems of Jaipur, we have a number of loose gemstones. These were purchased before prices started to increase, and our prices are more than competitive with general market prices.
Emeralds. There is a shortage of rough emeralds from Columbia. Zambia has quickly risen to become an important source of emeralds. Gemfields, a company known for ethical and controlled mining, controls Zambian emerald production. They have policies that protect the workers and the environment surrounding the mines, control illegal and over-mining, as well as giving back to local communities.
At Gems of Jaipur, we have 12 quality emeralds from Zambia ranging from 3.0 to 6.5 carats. The average per-carat price is $250. The retail cost ranges from $640-$1630.
Rubies. Ruby production from Burma has declined significantly in recent years, and most of the larger rubies entering the market are now from other sources. Mozambique has become particularly important since 2009. The finest Mozambique rubies can come close in color to high-quality Burmese rubies, but they do not have the distinctive fluorescence of the Burmese gems. Also, they do not require heat treatment.* While Mozambique rubies are still priced below Burma, prices on African rubies have rapidly increased as the market becomes familiar with these gems. The US price per carat of rubies more than doubled from 2021 to 2022.
At Gems of Jaipur, we have 7 rubies from Mozambique ranging from 2.62 to 3.72 carats. The average per-carat price is $480. These gems are priced from $1,285 to $1,785.
Sapphires. Sri Lanka, where the best sapphires come from, is experiencing tighter restrictions to keep responsible practices in effect. At the same time, the government is considering levying higher taxes on the gem industry because of the country’s financial struggles. Experts predict that conditions in Sri Lanka will not improve over the near future.
According to sapphire experts, prices in the past five years have outpaced prices over the previous decade. Within the last year, prices have risen 20% and continue to increase. Fine-quality heated sapphires between 1 and 2 carats range from $500 to $1,500 per carat, while unheated sapphires go for $800 to $2,500. Fine sapphires of 3 to 5 carats are more challenging to source, so these larger gemstones go for $1,000 to $4,000 per carat for heated gems and $1,500 to $5,000 per carat for unheated gems. Today, sapphires from Sri Lanka are now widely used in engagement rings, which has helped increase sapphires’ market value.
At Gems of Jaipur, we have 6 fine-quality unheated sapphires from Sri Lanka ranging from 2.3 to 3.77 carats. The average per-carat price is $735. These gems are priced from $1,640-$2,580
All gemstones that we sell are untreated (except for some heat treatment*) and ethically sourced.
Be sure to do research on your own. I think you will see that our prices are well below market value. Now may be the time to buy!
Pictures posted below are some of our gemstones listed above. You can also see these online. click here at www.gemsofjaipur.shop. But pictures are not the best way to view these, so contact me and let’s make an appointment for you to see these beautiful gems. We can also create beautiful jewelry pieces from these gemstones just for you!
Remember, 100% of the net proceeds from the sale of all our jewelry and loose gemstones support a charity providing meals for people with leprosy and educational resources for their children.
*Heat treatment is a common, often-used treatment of gemstones. Heating lightens, darkens, or even changes the color of a gemstone. Heating can also improve the clarity of some gemstones. Out of all the gemstone treatments, heating is one of the most widely accepted.
What’s Happening with Sapphires in Sri Lanka and Madagascar