Strong Demand for High-Quality Gemstones
By ICA Ambassador to Germany, Claudia Hamman
Generally in Europe, and particularly in Germany, we see that customers are only buying goods requested by their clients or for their programs and projects. They are rarely willing to risk buying interesting gemstones just for stock.
However, for the first time since the financial crisis of 2008, the Vicenza trade show in January was very positive. There were not only many overseas buyers, but also clients from Italy showing up after a long time away from the show to replace stock.
This slight, but decidedly positive, economic breath of fresh air for Europe was also visible at the Inhorgenta Munich trade show in February, and again at BaselWorld.
In Germany, we are seeing a stable to increasing demand for special cuts, especially orders of limited series in fine goods.
All over Europe there is a strong demand for unheated rubies over 3 carats starting from $10,000 per carat and up, while demand for smaller sizes is declining.
Fine-quality sapphires are stable, while sales are declining for low-quality items. There is also strong demand for untreated stones over 10 carats from Madagascar and Ceylon. For pink and yellow sapphire, there is increasing demand for pieces weighing 10 carats and up in good transparency and color.
Emeralds from Colombia are always in strong demand and increasing in price, and this also applies to commercial goods.
Aquamarine is stable in price, but there is a shortage of goods in fine qualities.
In tourmaline, the African Paraiba is much in demand and seeing stable prices.
Tanzanite is seeing balanced supply and demand, while Tsavorite is always difficult to supply over 1 carat in good quality.
Garnet is very popular, and rhodolite in purple and red from the new mines in Mozambique is selling well.
Opals in fine qualities, especially black stones, are in demand and hard to find.
In pearls, freshwater pearls are seeing lower demand.
In conclusion, there is a strong demand for gemstones in the very good to top-quality end of the market. Particularly in demand are rare stones such as unheated Burmese rubies and Kashmiri and Burmese sapphires, as well as un-oiled fine Colombian emeralds.
It appears that people are looking to invest in rare gemstones as they are willing to pay record prices to get these top stones, which is likely due to the uncertain financial situation around the world.
“Oppenheimer Blue” Sells For Record $58M
ICA Ambassador to Germany – Claudia Hamann
Claudia discovered an early desire for travel which has stood her in good stead during her 30-year career in the gemstone business.
An early passion for the world of gemstones saw her head for Idar-Oberstein, the center of the German colored gemstone business.
It was there that she studied gemology and became a fellow of the German Gemological Institute.
In 1990, along with her husband, she founded the Claudia Hamann Edelstein company, and has since developed a network of connections in Thailand for the purchase of rubies and sapphires, and also for the cutting and polishing of African rough stones as well as for sourcing emeralds in Colombia.
Burmese Sapphire, 118.88 Carats Sold for over $4 Million
A ‘Royal Blue’ cushion-shaped sapphire weighing approximately 118.88 carats from Burma (Myanmar) with no indications of heating was sold for $4,167,621 at a Christie’s auction in Geneva on November 10 for $4,191,448. The sapphire had a pre-sale estimate of $3.2 million to $3.7 million. The cushion-shaped sapphire weighing approximately 118.88 carats, in blue leather fitted case Accompanied by report no. 14038086 dated 29 March 2014 from the Gübelin GemLab stating that the origin of the sapphire is Burma (Myanmar), with no indications of heating, and a colour variety that may be also called ‘Royal Blue’ in the trade. Estimate 3,100,000 – 3,600,000 CHF Price Realized 4,197,000 CHF
This ‘pigeon blood’ ruby sold for a record $30 million