Basel and Hong Kong: High-End Stones Pace Market

The following article appears courtesy of GIA Gems & Gemology eBrief

Intellectual Property: Gemological Institute of America

Photo by: Robert Weldon

Author: Russell Shor

Fine rubies from outside Myanmar, such as this 14.97 ct ruby from Winza, Tanzania, continue to command top prices in the market. Courtesy Mona Lee Nesseth Custom and Estate Jewels and a private collector; photo by Robert Weldon.

Diamond demand at the recently concluded BaselWorld and Hong Kong Watch and Jewellery fairs was concentrated in the high end, with stones of more than 5 ct bringing strong prices. While a significant portion of buyers were from Asia, demand was also strong from the U.S. and Europe.
 
Dealers reported a perceived shortage of such goods, particularly because rough diamond production remains well below the peak levels seen before the 2008-09 economic crisis. The continued weakness of the U.S. dollar – the trading currency for diamonds – against other major currencies is also contributing to higher prices.
 
Prices for top rubies were also very strong because of extreme shortages of supply. The ban on Myanmar goods in the U.S. and European Union is keeping most of the best stones off the market, and dealers are holding on to top rubies from other localities in hopes that a full economic recovery will bring even stronger prices.
 
The major auction houses are moving to take full advantage of these trends, packing important stones into upcoming sales in Hong Kong, New York, and Geneva.
 
Russell Shor
Senior Industry Analyst, GIA Carlsbad

Advertisements