All´s well that ends well?

2022 was, after all, a rather good year for the jewellery trade.

Probably due to the numerous crises, which currently plague us, there is a noticeable trend towards gifts of lasting value.
Goldsmiths and jewellers tell us that they received fewer orders for bespoke jewellery but that sales from stock were very good, particularly before X-mas.

As gem traders we too are content with sales. However, we are a bit worried about buyingn and re-stocking.

Since about one year international gem markets show signs of overheating. Worldwide demand has risen sharply, which, unsurpisingly, is driving prices, following the law of supply and demand.

Now, with blue and pink sapphires two more factors come into play. In Sri Lanka mining grinded to a halt due to the pandemic and the overall economic crisis prevailing on the island. Madagascar, on the other hand, banned all export of rough gems (again). With supplies from these two major suppliers running low it becomes increasingly difficult to source pink and blue sapphires on the world market. The few stones that were offered to our buyers were more than twice as expensive as last year, so we politely declined...

Thus our last buy consisted of two unheated rubies, three spectacular alexandrites and a lot of bluegreen sapphires.


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The latter, often termed teal sapphires in the trade, are currently being mined in some quantity in Australia, Madagascar and Tanzania and enjoy  increasing popularity. We already sold some of them and we are confident that the newly arrived alexandrites will also sell rather fast, due to their outstanding colour change.

So, what will future bring?
We do think that sooner or later tensions on the market will ease. However, we doubt that prices for blues and pinks will sink to pre-crisis levels again. In any case, as long as prices remain sky-high we will hold back our buyings and rather sell from our extensive stock.

Furthermore it is to expect that the so-called secondary market will gain in importance for us traders. We will probably and hopefully be able to buy from private persons.
It happened before, when, about ten years ago, rubellite prices went through the roof because of sharply rising demand in China. For several years we almost exclusively bought red tourmalines at sales of private collections or estate sales.

Time will tell...

Best wishes for a happy and prosperous 2023

Wiener Edelstein Zentrum