Peach coloured topaz

Life ain´t easy

for topaz lovers. Prices for some of the coveted Imperial Topaz are on the rise. The reason is not, as one might think, dwindling supply but a rather cunning attempt to influence market prices by mine owners.

From the beginning: Imperial Topaz is found only and exclusively in a small area west of the town of Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais State in Brazil. Smack in the middle of this location is Capão, by far the largest mine and the only one technically equipped to produce commercially significant amounts of the treasured gems.

About two years ago the mine owners decreed that the much sought after peach colour is disquietingly cheap. To do something about this they started to aggressively buy up productions of the other 10 to 12 (much smaller) mines in the vicinity.

This strategy actually works with stones of geographically limited occurrence as long as enough capital is involved, a fact that at this very moment is demonstrated by TanzaniteOne, operators of the largest tanzanite mine in Meralani, Tanzania.

Lo an behold! In Brazil prices for peach coloured topaz have doubled in a very short time and in the USA dealers as well as consumers already complain about sagging supplies and constantly rising prices.

Interestingly enough this only pertains to peach coloured topaz. The even more expensive pink and red topaz seems to be unaffected. An american trader residing in Brazil thinks that Capão´s owners have shied away from interfering with pinks and reds for fear of driving customers away by driving prices over the top...