Latest auctions : new records

The colored gemstones market is often pointed at for its total lack of transparency.

While a broad documentation about diamonds can easily be found and is available on the Internet – sector-specific market studies, organized exchanges, prices index (thanks to the Rapaport list) – the colored gemstones market is blamed for being subjective and is often seen as a mystery for whoever isn’t an insider or doesn’t belong to the profession.

We believe this is wrong. There is an impartial and public source of information that provides a true transparency about the market prices of colored gemstones: auctions.

Their added value is high, mainly thanks to the advertising they bring on. They also contribute to improve the market performance, not only in terms of price fixing but also of liquidities.

However, one must be able to match a price with a quality. That’s where the expertise and lots’s evaluation come into play.

We studied the major sales organized by Christie’s and Sotheby’s auction houses since the beginning of 2017. Our analysis is based on the minimum eligibility criteria to our quality standards: natural and non-heated sapphires and rubies, emeralds without any treatment or with minor oiling. Bought lots only kept our attention.

It might be necessary to remind our readers that we are not conducting a historical analysis that would show a market orientation.

As the chart above clearly shows, sapphire is the winner among the lots (58%).

We can also observe that some origins (Madagascar for sapphires, Brazil/Zambia/Afghanistan/Pakistan for emeralds, Mozambique for rubies) are missing (or just a few, scattered in several sales), in spite of the quality that can be produced there.

At last, regarding the average price, Burmese rubies (124,580 $/ct) are ahead of Ceylon Sapphires (72,495 $/ct), while Colombian emeralds (47,742 $/ct) complete the trio. Burmese sapphires cost on average 2.1x more than Ceylon sapphires.

If we take a closer look to the 3 major lots in each category, we get the following results:

We can draw the following conclusions :

  • “No oil” certified emeralds and high-quality non-heated Burmese rubies often generate strong market interest.
  • Regarding Kashmir Sapphire, we noticed lots of medium quality gemstones (faint color, fuzzy aspect, color zoning, noticeable inclusions etc.) were sold at “low” prices around 40-50k $/ct. High-quality gems in the other hand were all sold over 100k $/ct, and the best of them got sold between 130-160k $/ct.
  • Some large Burmese sapphires were sold at very high prices. A 47,63ct burmese sapphire, with oversaturated color, was sold over 50k $/ct, and another one of 24,50ct around 40k $/ct despite its iridescent rutile needles inclusions.

We felt in love with three lots :

Last news from yesterday evening (June 20th, 2017) : The top sale at Christie’s New York Magnificent Jewels was the Rockefeller Emerald, sold on behalf of a private American collector to jeweler Harry Winston, for $5,511,500, which set a new world auction record per carat of $305,000. See more.