Prestige issue 285, July-Aug.-Sept 2017
Nowhere in the world, one can find in one location the caliber of gem exhibitors that exist in hall 3 at Baselworld especially when it comes to sapphire, ruby and emerald.
Emerald is the rich green gem variety of the mineral beryl and one of the most precious gemstones. Emerald’s green color is caused by traces of chromium and sometimes vanadium. As early as 2000 B.C. emeralds were being mined in Egypt. The stones were typically small and of poor quality. To the Egyptians, the green stones were a symbol of fertility and life, they were described as calming and soothing to the eye. The reason emerald is so popular on the market, is because production is consistent for the past 30 years with many jewelers carrying pretty nice saleable goods. Matched sets are of particular interest to many of the clients in a range of shapes and sizes. Rough material is also available in lots or single pieces. Any request for a stone can be answered from our inventory or by ordering stones directly from the mines to set them into finished pieces. Fancy-cut emeralds, carvings, drops and beads are in demand because their price can fit the budget of the clients. Columbia is the first supplier in fine quality emeralds. Also in the Panjshir valley, in Afghanistan a hundred mines supply with a high quality emeralds.
Sapphires exist in a large variety of colors, but traditionally the blue color is the most popular and valuable. The noble blue gem was widely used in the jewelry of royalty and was considered the stone most appropriate for ecclesiastical rings. In Europe, during the Middle Ages, sapphires were considered to be an antidote against poisons and endowed with a power to influence the spirits.
Historically the finest sapphire gems came from Sri Lanka and Burma. High-quality sapphires offer great return on investment. As prices continue to go up with escalating world demand, it becomes more difficult to find high color stones. People think that Ceylon sapphire is superior to Madagascar sapphire in quality, the «Cornflower blue» nuance tends to come in Madagascar origin much more often than Ceylon. The real excitement seems to be happening in fancy color sapphires, such as yellow, green, petrol and baby pink are in demand, as well as rare orange-pink. 90% of the sapphires sold on the market are heated to enhance their color and give them a good clarity. Heating enriches the color.
Since centuries, Indians gave precious stones secret virtues.
Ruby is a precious stone that is very valuable. A 16-carat Burmese ruby recently sold at auction for more than 225,000$ per carat. The most important source of rubies since the late XVth century has been the Burma region. The descriptor «Burmese» has become synonymous with the best rubies, because they are considered to be generally the finest color red called pigeon’s blood. A major source of rubies today is Thailand, India, Kenya, Pakistan, Vietnam and Afghanistan. Everyone wants unheated goods. Fine quality and bigger sizes are in demand. While Burma is the iconic origin for the world’s most coveted rubies, Mozambique is producing nice quality, clean goods in bigger sizes and colors like pink and padparascha to «pigeon blood» and dark garnet. The Mozambique alternative gives buyers an attractive stone for a great value.