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Important Developments in Colored Stone Industry in 2016

Important Developments in Colored Stone Industry in 2016

2016 has seen some key developments in respect to the colored gemstone market. With changing economic scenario across many regions, some new markets have come up and some old markets have also regained their love for gemstones.

Here are some of the key developments which had an impact on the colored stone market:

US sanctions on Burma Ruby revoked: As mentioned in one of our earlier articles US president Barack Obama has waived the sanctions on the import of Burma ruby.

With Burma ruby still having a high demand in US, this decision has come as a boon to the gem dealers dealing in Burma rubies. It will also have a positive impact on the local miners who would also look forward to doing business responsibly.

Spinel is August’s newest birthstone: The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and Jewelers of America (JA) decided in June to include it with August’s birthstones.

August is now one of only three months represented by more than two gems. Spinel can be found in many colors. Although vivid red is generally the most desirable color, it can also be cobalt blue, bright pink, bright orange, lavender, black, violet blue, greenish blue, grey, mauve, yellow, and brown. It is found most commonly in Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Burma (Myanmar), but deposits of it have also been found in Vietnam, Tanzania, Kenya, and Madagascar.

Gemfields launches new ruby ad campaign: Gemfields launched its latest marketing campaign focused around the rubies produced from the Montepuez mine in Mozambique. Three short films called ‘Ruby Inspired Stories’ explore the hidden meaning behind the “captivating” gemstones. The films also include jewelry by Gyan and Fabergé as well as designer Chelsy Davy’s new and, Aya.

This is a first of its kind campaign for colored stones. DeBeers have been running a successful campaign for diamonds and we hope that this initiative by Gemfields to promote colored stones also has the same or better impact.

Growing awareness on responsible sourcing: The mining and processing of colored stones, a multibillion-dollar industry, and spans 47 countries on six continents. Despite the industry’s high profile, an ethical, sustainable mine-to-market supply chain for these materials has still not been achieved, impacting the physical environment and quality of life for laborers.

International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA), American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) and other prominent color stones associations are working towards educating their members on responsible sourcing minerals.

Rise of demand among jewelers and investors: Sapphires and rubies have outpaced diamonds from 2006 to 2015. According to the Gemval valuation guide, prices for rubies rose by 47 per cent, while the RapNet Diamond Index indicates that prices for 1ct diamonds have increased at a lower rate – 32 per cent since 2006. And luxury maisons such as Bulgari, Cartier, Van Cleef & Arpels and Chanel have been incorporating more colored gemstones into their jewelry pieces, from rubies and emeralds to sapphires and spinels. Aesthetics aside, rarity has been driving the growing demand for colored gemstones. Education and awareness are contributing to the growing appetite for colored gemstones.