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Gems and jewellery price rises - what's the future?

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
I'm sure you've all noticed, but gems and gemstone jewellery prices have been rising a lot lately.

I tend to buy second hand/vintage/antique jewellery and am finding that selection and availability of items are not what they were 3 years ago, with a lot of items I had my eye on being sold by the time I was in the position to purchase, with stock not being replenished with similar quality items.

At auctions, prices are regularly going way over estimates. It's to the extent where the prices for old stock being sold by jewellers and online jewellery vendors are sometimes the same or even lower than what equivalent items are selling for at auctions. Really nice items (irrespective of price) are getting harder to come by.

In response, a lot of jewellers are putting up prices of their old stock. I see item prices suddenly jumping up by 50%.

It's essentially the same issue as the one described by Yavorskyy in his/their article.

Pricing of “New normal” Gemstones, explained​


Dramatic rise in prices for fine gemstones as high-end ruby, emerald and sapphire sales soar​


It's hard to criticise gem and jewellery vendors for putting up prices if they are finding that prices for them too are rising to the extent that they can't replenish their stock with the money they sold their old invetory for. At the same time, for a lot of people like myself whose budget is limited, if this trend continues, a lot of things will simply become unaffordable.

So what's the future, I wonder? Will prices eventually correct themselves, or is it on an upword trajectory where only the very affluent can soon afford many gemstones and gemstone jewellery? One antique jewellery dealer was telling me it was getting harder and harder to buy rubies and rings in general, and a lot of people who are now buying his stock are other dealers. For antique jewellers whose stock is by definition not something that can increase production to meet demand, this can't be good either.

Any thoughts?
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
738
More people, more demand. More exposure to colored gemstones, more demand. Inflation is rising everywhere, higher prices.

With that said, there are several gemstones that have risen 500% to 1500% in the last 20 years or so. Most gemstones always rise in price from the source dealers. Part of this is due to the advent of the internet. They can see what western dealers are selling their stones for. They want that piece of the pie too.

There will always be people who can afford to buy gemstones and unfortunately ones that cannot or will have to settle for smaller stones or stones of lesser quality.

Been that way for years. Don’t see it changing.
 

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
More people, more demand. More exposure to colored gemstones, more demand. Inflation is rising everywhere, higher prices.

With that said, there are several gemstones that have risen 500% to 1500% in the last 20 years or so. Most gemstones always rise in price from the source dealers. Part of this is due to the advent of the internet. They can see what western dealers are selling their stones for. They want that piece of the pie too.

There will always be people who can afford to buy gemstones and unfortunately ones that cannot or will have to settle for smaller stones or stones of lesser quality.

Been that way for years. Don’t see it changing.

:cry2:

On the other hand, it's a good thing in a way that those at source get a bigger slice of the pie, if it's in a country where there is high rates of poverty/hardship.
 

elle_71125

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
5,889
Prices have been going up like crazy. I’ve been casually shopping for an emerald for a few years now. The price on one emerald in particular went up thousands of dollars. Thousands! o_O So, I’ve accepted that I’m not likely to get an emerald of that quality anytime soon. I bought myself a light but bright emerald in the meantime.

I know diamond prices have gone up recently too.

Yvonne, from Cecile Raley Designs shared an interesting blog post regarding this topic as well.
https://www.cecileraleydesigns.com/blogs/cecile-raley-designs/
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
3,301
Interesting thread, OP! I don't see the retail market correcting itself... I think the prices will continue to increase, and, with certain gems, exponentially. I agree with fred's assessment. And these collector gems are only becoming rarer, especially with Asian consumer demand. I bought my paraiba back in 2012. It's large and clean, and while the color is good, it isn't even top quality. For what I paid, I'm seeing similar stones going for 10x as much or more. :shock:

Sorry, the black of my phone is reflecting in the stone...
index4sdd-1.jpg
 

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
Prices have been going up like crazy. I’ve been casually shopping for an emerald for a few years now. The price on one emerald in particular went up thousands of dollars. Thousands! o_O So, I’ve accepted that I’m not likely to get an emerald of that quality anytime soon. I bought myself a light but bright emerald in the meantime.

I know diamond prices have gone up recently too.

Yvonne, from Cecile Raley Designs shared an interesting blog post regarding this topic as well.
https://www.cecileraleydesigns.com/blogs/cecile-raley-designs/

Very intersting article. Wow, there's so much going on across the world, didn't know about the Sri Lanka issue at all!
 

elle_71125

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
5,889
Interesting thread, OP! I don't see the retail market correcting itself... I think the prices will continue to increase, and, with certain gems, exponentially. I agree with fred's assessment. And these collector gems are only becoming rarer, especially with Asian consumer demand. I bought my paraiba back in 2012. It's large and clean, and while the color is good, it isn't even top quality. For what I paid, I'm seeing similar stones going for 10x as much or more. :shock:

Sorry, the black of my phone is reflecting in the stone...
index4sdd-1.jpg

That’s gorgeous! :kiss2:

I‘m grateful I bought my paraibas back a few years ago. They are SO much more expensive now. :oops2:
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
3,301
That’s gorgeous! :kiss2:

I‘m grateful I bought my paraibas back a few years ago. They are SO much more expensive now. :oops2:

Thank you! I'm happy you got in on your paraibas at a reasonable price point too!! I feel like they're especially skyrocketing, right? The Brazilian mine is pretty much tapped out, except for wee pebbles, and the Mozambique mine isn't producing much in the way of finer stones these days. Folks seem to really be holding on to their stones or selling them at a serious premium.

As for the emerald you mentioned, you may need to budget a bit longer for it. But, honestly, again, the ring in your profile pic is a dream come true. The emerald halo is bonkers. So I'm confident it will hold you over until then! :kiss2:
 

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
Isn't it funny; as a supplier of rough stones, I am surprised my buyers haven't offered to add a little amount if they are cutting selling it for this much. Looks like i need to find my self new rough stone buyer.

I don't know how these things work, but don't rough sellers tell buyers what they want for them? Or at least for negotiations to start that way?
 

elle_71125

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 29, 2012
Messages
5,889
Thank you! I'm happy you got in on your paraibas at a reasonable price point too!! I feel like they're especially skyrocketing, right? The Brazilian mine is pretty much tapped out, except for wee pebbles, and the Mozambique mine isn't producing much in the way of finer stones these days. Folks seem to really be holding on to their stones or selling them at a serious premium.

As for the emerald you mentioned, you may need to budget a bit longer for it. But, honestly, again, the ring in your profile pic is a dream come true. The emerald halo is bonkers. So I'm confident it will hold you over until then! :kiss2:

Thank you so much. I adore Clover (the ring in my profile pic) and that emerald halo is a big part of what made me want an emerald ring. Lol.

I 100% agree about paraibas. Considering I could never buy another one for what I paid for it back then, I think I’ll be holding onto mine. :mrgreen:
 

Shiny Black Cat

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
369
I'm sure you've all noticed, but gems and gemstone jewellery prices have been rising a lot lately.

I tend to buy second hand/vintage/antique jewellery and am finding that selection and availability of items are not what they were 3 years ago, with a lot of items I had my eye on being sold by the time I was in the position to purchase, with stock not being replenished with similar quality items.

At auctions, prices are regularly going way over estimates. It's to the extent where the prices for old stock being sold by jewellers and online jewellery vendors are sometimes the same or even lower than what equivalent items are selling for at auctions. Really nice items (irrespective of price) are getting harder to come by.

In response, a lot of jewellers are putting up prices of their old stock. I see item prices suddenly jumping up by 50%.

It's essentially the same issue as the one described by Yavorskyy in his/their article.

Pricing of “New normal” Gemstones, explained​


Dramatic rise in prices for fine gemstones as high-end ruby, emerald and sapphire sales soar​


It's hard to criticise gem and jewellery vendors for putting up prices if they are finding that prices for them too are rising to the extent that they can't replenish their stock with the money they sold their old invetory for. At the same time, for a lot of people like myself whose budget is limited, if this trend continues, a lot of things will simply become unaffordable.

So what's the future, I wonder? Will prices eventually correct themselves, or is it on an upword trajectory where only the very affluent can soon afford many gemstones and gemstone jewellery? One antique jewellery dealer was telling me it was getting harder and harder to buy rubies and rings in general, and a lot of people who are now buying his stock are other dealers. For antique jewellers whose stock is by definition not something that can increase production to meet demand, this can't be good either.

Any thoughts?

l don"t know about pricing, but love to know that someone is buying second hand jewelry. when l joined this forum , l thought l was the only one with pre owned jewelry. it took some time to settle down and decided not to leave the forum.
 

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
l don"t know about pricing, but love to know that someone is buying second hand jewelry. when l joined this forum , l thought l was the only one with pre owned jewelry. it took some time to settle down and decided not to leave the forum.

Really? I think there are many people here who buy second hand jewellery. There is also a Preloved section for members to advertise their own second hand jewellery to sell, and other members seem to buy them.

Perhaps it feels like everyboody here buys their jewellery new because in the Colored Stones section, a lot of members buy their own stones and then have them set in jewellery. But I think this is because it gives them choice over the gemstone and the style of jewellery, not because they prefer new jewellery instead of second hand.

I buy second hand jewellery because I'm lazy and impatient, and finding some gemstone preset in jewellery is easier second hand. Plus, I like vintage/antique styles, as well as modern. :mrgreen2:

I'm also still figuring out what I like in ring settings!
 

Shiny Black Cat

Shiny_Rock
Joined
May 12, 2021
Messages
369
Really? I think there are many people here who buy second hand jewellery. There is also a Preloved section for members to advertise their own second hand jewellery to sell, and other members seem to buy them.

Perhaps it feels like everyboody here buys their jewellery new because in the Colored Stones section, a lot of members buy their own stones and then have them set in jewellery. But I think this is because it gives them choice over the gemstone and the style of jewellery, not because they prefer new jewellery instead of second hand.

I buy second hand jewellery because I'm lazy and impatient, and finding some gemstone preset in jewellery is easier second hand. Plus, I like vintage/antique styles, as well as modern. :mrgreen2:

I'm also still figuring out what I like in ring settings!

l love thrifting and jewelry with stones. Loose stones and hand made jewelry are my favourite. I have a bunch hand made pieces with semi precious stones. Maybe l'll post them,
 

victoriangurl96

Rough_Rock
Joined
Mar 22, 2022
Messages
86
I saw an estate jeweler being interviewed on Youtube recently. He said that, except for bracelets, all types of antique/vintage American and British jewelry pieces are rising quickly in price. He said this is due mainly to Chinese demand/rising disposible incomes.

According to him antique bracelets aren't selling as well because they are generally too big for Asian women's wrists (smaller bone structure, even compared to Western women a hundred years ago). This is keeping prices down.

So if you're looking for more "bling for the buck" maybe look at antique bracelets :)
 
Last edited:

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
I saw an estate jeweler being interviewed on Youtube recently. He said that, except for bracelets, all types of antique/vintage American and British jewelry pieces are rising quickly in price. He said this is due mainly to Chinese demand/rising disposible incomes.

According to him antique bracelets aren't selling as well because they are generally too big for Asian women's wrists (smaller bone structure, even compared to Western women a hundred years ago). This is keeping prices down.

So if you're looking for more "bling for the buck" maybe look at antique bracelets :)

Interesting. Yes, I heard the same from an antique jeweller, that the Asian demand is driving things.

Good tip on the bracelet - the downside is that they tend to be expensive, because it takes a lot more gem to decorate a wrist than a finger :D
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
6,326
Certain gemstones of high quality are increasingly difficult to find and demand exceeds supply.
There is definitely a perception that “all the best stones have already been found” so there is much greater interest in antique and vintage pieces.
Another aspect is “the green factor”, many people feel it’s less damaging to the environment, saves the use of fossil fuels, doesn’t fund terrorists etc if they buy antique or vintage.
My preference has always been pre loved.
I buy for the type and quality of workmanship. It has never worried me that it’s “not new”. It is usually cheaper than new.
But yes, I’ve noticed that buying pre loved has become harder and more expensive.
 

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
Woah! Today I saw the below ring go for 20 times the uppper end of the auction estimate.

It's a spinel 5 stone ring, with the largest stone around 7 x 6 mm,18 ct gold, weighing just over 5 grams. It went for 5150 GBP, including auction house fees. That's approximately 6376 USD! Surely that's too much?? Even at full retail being sold at a store, the price would seem high.

The colour looked better in some of the other photos but still. I think even the auctioneers were gobsmacked, joking that they need to have words with their cataloguer.



Redspinel.jpg
 

ItsMainelyYou

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2014
Messages
3,559
I don't see the majority of stones increasing in perpetuity at this rate. It's not sustainable with inflation being an ever present global concern in the long run. Certain stone types are definitely having a moment. Once the people with more disposable income have their fill of the stones/antique pieces du jour, it's going to be really hard to continue sales in those ranges for the rest of us. If the market continues being too artificially inflated, people will no longer want to obtain them and look for alternatives. There is a limit to cache when most live in a world of practical concerns. To a degree it's somewhat self limiting. Good quality labs will become vogue again out of necessity and people who thought they had hard scruples will reconsider.
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
738
Woah! Today I saw the below ring go for 20 times the uppper end of the auction estimate.

It's a spinel 5 stone ring, with the largest stone around 7 x 6 mm,18 ct gold, weighing just over 5 grams. It went for 5150 GBP, including auction house fees. That's approximately 6376 USD! Surely that's too much?? Even at full retail being sold at a store, the price would seem high.

The colour looked better in some of the other photos but still. I think even the auctioneers were gobsmacked, joking that they need to have words with their cataloguer.



Redspinel.jpg

If the color is redder and eye clean the ring could easily go for that brand new at a high end brick and mortar boutique.
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
738
I don't see the majority of stones increasing in perpetuity at this rate. It's not sustainable with inflation being an ever present global concern in the long run. Certain stone types are definitely having a moment. Once the people with more disposable income have their fill of the stones/antique pieces du jour, it's going to be really hard to continue sales in those ranges for the rest of us. If the market continues being too artificially inflated, people will no longer want to obtain them and look for alternatives. There is a limit to cache when most live in a world of practical concerns. To a degree it's somewhat self limiting. Good quality labs will become vogue again out of necessity and people who thought they had hard scruples will reconsider.

I agree to a great extent, but stones will increase in price that are in high demand, albeit it at a more moderate rate and some may even go down a bit.
 

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
I don't see the majority of stones increasing in perpetuity at this rate. It's not sustainable with inflation being an ever present global concern in the long run. Certain stone types are definitely having a moment. Once the people with more disposable income have their fill of the stones/antique pieces du jour, it's going to be really hard to continue sales in those ranges for the rest of us. If the market continues being too artificially inflated, people will no longer want to obtain them and look for alternatives. There is a limit to cache when most live in a world of practical concerns. To a degree it's somewhat self limiting. Good quality labs will become vogue again out of necessity and people who thought they had hard scruples will reconsider.

Yes, you make a lot of good points. In some ways it's classic economics that demand for high end luury goods is sustained or even increased at times of economic downturn. Let's hope that this is temporary .
 

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
If the color is redder and eye clean the ring could easily go for that brand new at a high end brick and mortar boutique.

It was somewhat brigher than the photo, but not eye clean. It looked a lot like rubies can - purplish red, dark, but saturated.

I think it was a nicely proportioned ring, the way the stones curved around the shank, more so than most 5 stone rings. Not sure if you would see something like that brand new at a boutique store, more likely to find something similar in an antique store but i don't believe it was an antique.
 

fredflintstone

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jul 18, 2020
Messages
738
It was somewhat brigher than the photo, but not eye clean. It looked a lot like rubies can - purplish red, dark, but saturated.

I think it was a nicely proportioned ring, the way the stones curved around the shank, more so than most 5 stone rings. Not sure if you would see something like that brand new at a boutique store, more likely to find something similar in an antique store but i don't believe it was an antique.

Many high end boutiques carry unusual jewelery and colored gemstones, but it all depends on the store and what they buy. I have seen some high end boutique stores blow me away with some of their jewelry, sometimes in cities I would not expect. Just depends on the owners. :)
 

JewelledEscalators

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 30, 2019
Messages
783
Many high end boutiques carry unusual jewelery and colored gemstones, but it all depends on the store and what they buy. I have seen some high end boutique stores blow me away with some of their jewelry, sometimes in cities I would not expect. Just depends on the owners. :)

It may be so, but I wouldn't usually expect an auction jewellery or gemstone item to sell at the same price as a store, given that the set up is different. Auction sales are final, you can't necessarily see the item/try it on unless you are able to travel there, there's no money back guarantee and with gemstones, unless it comes with a cert, treatment is unknown and items are sold 'as seen'.
 
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