Responsible sourcing of coloured gemstones will receive ever-increasing attention and become progressively more important to consumers, predicts Gemfields and Kagem Mining CEO Sean Gilbertson.
The observation comes as Gemfields recently contributed new data and insights to independent global property consultancy Knight Frank’s latest Luxury Investment Index.
Gemfields operates the Kagem emerald mine, in Zambia, in partnership with that government’s Industrial Development Corporation and is actively promoting the use of responsibly sourced Zambian emeralds in the international market.
“The swing towards precious coloured gemstones is overwhelming.
“The past decade has seen the world record prices for emeralds and rubies surpass that of a colourless diamonds on a per carat basis. It surely can’t be long before sapphires overtake diamonds too,” says Gilbertson.
He notes that Gemfields expects vibrant consumer interest and sector growth to continue.
“In this issue of our Luxury Investment Index, we take an in-depth look at the performance of coloured gemstones,” says Knight Frank luxury research head Andrew Shirley.
“The interesting story here is that coloured gemstones are outperforming the wider jewellery market with some significant sales already [having taken place] in 2019.”
At Bonhams’ London sale at the end of April, several coloured gemstones far exceeded their estimates.
The top performer was a 17.43 ct Kashmir sapphire ring, formerly owned by a European noble family that fetched £723 063, far exceeding its £300 000 to £400 000 guided price.
The second highest performing lot was a diamond and sapphire transformable necklace by Spanish jeweller, Grassy.
Dated to around 1935 and featuring a 34.59 ct Sri Lankan sapphire, the necklace sold for £287 562 against its pre-sale estimate of £120 000 to £180 000.