News from the international markets

It´s about time to report about this year´s new entries on the world´s gem markets.

Arguably the most spectacular new discovery was the ruby deposit in Winza, Tanzania. In fact the deposit was first found in November 2007 but it was only in spring 2009 that the new rubies really hit the markets.

The breathtaking beauty of Winza rubies is matched by the equally breathtaking prices which the finest specimens command, undoubtedly driven by the ban of Burma rubies in the USA.

Whether the production in Winza is sustainable and whether prices will come down a little after the first hype remains to be seen.

Tanzanite cabochons are, of course, no new discovery but their appearance on the markets in substantial quantities was news to us. In autumn 2008 and in spring 2009 we mainly encountered cabochons of good colour but rather low transparency. These were followed by larger cabochons (up to 55cts) of top colour and surprisingly high transparency, which we simply had to sccop up. See our tanzanite page for more…

In the latest edition of "Gems & Gemology" (Fall 2009) the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) reports about green amber. The story is about natural amber and copal which is subjected to a new treatment that produces very attractive colours ranging from greenish yellow to intense peridot-like green. The GIA also reports slightly increased hardness and, at least with copal, significantly lower susceptibility to alcohol.

The new two-phase treatment, which was developed in Germany, was bought and refined by Treasure Green Amber Ltd. of Hong Kong. At the time of writing the company had twelve autoclaves running at its factory in Guangzhou, China. Apparently amber as well as copal from deposits all over the world responds to the treatment. Because there is no shortage of treatable rough material, it is to be expected that green amber will hit the markets in large quantities soon.

Other new discoveries, the commercial impact of which is not yet clear, comprise yellow, lilac and bi-coloured tourmalines from Nigeria, as well as fine rubies from two new deposits in Moçambique.

We´ll keep you posted.