By Jeremy Chalchinsky, Color Source Gems
Hello, everyone! I just got back from six days in Bangkok with my dad, and this is my report. There are plenty of dealers who live there and have a more comprehensive view, but these are my observations from conversations while buying and sourcing goods.
Prices are obviously higher for colored stones than before. Retailers and designers need to adjust their prices when requesting gems and quoting their customers. It’s just the nature of the beast these days. Don’t expect to pay what you did before the pandemic.
There are definitely still deals to be had, and we bought very well, including adjusting for the price hikes. The deals and quantity of goods are less available than before, and everyone is buying less because the prices are so high, but here are my top takeaways.
- Melee prices are up for Rubies and Sapphires. Expect to pay about $50–$100 per carat more for the nice goods you usually buy.
- Calibrated Rubies and Sapphires in medium-nice quality are up about 30%.
- Fine-quality stones above 5–6 carats in Sapphire and 4-plus carats in Ruby are much, much harder to find in the market. Those prices will stay high.
- Ruby prices will remain high with Fura’s and Gemfield’s Ruby auctions happening with regularity. High upfront costs and outside players who have “eff you” money have got in on the action.
- Very little production is coming out of Burma.
- No one actually knows what’s going to happen with Madagascar’s ban on exporting their material. It’s strangling the market and pushing prices higher. It’s one big rumor mill of speculation.
My personal prediction? The prices of the finer goods will stay the same or increase slowly while the standard nice, calibrated, and commercial goods will decrease after the holidays and into next year.
If you have a customer who wants a larger, fine colored gemstone (especially a no-heat Ruby), tell them to buy now. It will only go up and it’s a good investment piece.