Doing things the right way: gemstones as an alternative investment

With the banks hardly paying any interest at all, a property bubble that could burst at any time, and a volatile share market, gemstones, the smallest form of capital investment, have climbed a long way up the ladder.

For several years, a marked increase in demand has been noticeable in the gemstone trade. Yet that demand is now facing limited resources, as Constantin Wild, the gemstone merchant from Idar-Oberstein, is well aware: “It’s becoming more and more difficult to get hold of high-value stones. Many deposits in Africa and Latin America are already exhausted. Imperial topazes, blue aquamarines and neon-yellow canary tourmalines, to name but a few.” Typically for this market, the price is also affected by the increased demand and short supply: “Prices for rubies and sapphires have multiplied several times over in recent years”, says Wild, who runs the family enterprise of that name, representing the fourth generation of his family in doing so. Constantin Wild, Idar-Oberstein

Jörg Lindemann, managing director of the federal association of the gemstone and diamond industry (BVED), also sees gemstones as a good investment option – if the conditions are right: “Gemstones are indeed an interesting form of value guarantee. Unlike currency or stocks and shares, the value of gemstones stays constant over generations. Having said that, investors should only consider very high-quality, top-class specimens.” The expert also advises against buying on one’s own initiative: “A buyer needs a profound knowledge of the market if he is to purchase a suitable stone of enduring value. Buyers should have a very clear knowledge of the situation regarding the demand for or deposits of the gemstone in question. A purchase is not to be recommended without a reputable partner.”

Continue reading Doing things the right way: gemstones as an alternative investment

Treasures of Nature in Hong Kong

Dear gemstone lovers,

any amount of to-ing and fro-ing, lots and lots of people, and in the middle of it all: me and my treasure chamber. As every year, I travelled – laden with sparkling stones – to the ‘Diamond, Gem & Pearl Show’ in Hong Kong.

The Asian market has been gaining in importance in the gemstone trade, and not just since yesterday. Whilst at one time only European countries and the USA were relevant for the sales market, the demand for luxury goods has been growing in Hong Kong, Mainland China and elsewhere – not least because of a financially strong upper level of society that is getting larger and larger. Apart from that, people in China have a great affinity for gemstones. Jade is regarded as a royal gemstone; the Chinese have probably been mining it and using it in jewellery and filigree art carvings since 6000 B.C. Continue reading Treasures of Nature in Hong Kong

5 exciting days in Tucson

Tucson is the second-largest city in Arizona after Phoenix. In February, on the occasion of the Gem & Jewelry Exchange, some 300,000 gemstone lovers came pouring into this desert town. I was among them.

Gemstones as far as the eye can see! During the trade fair, the whole city seems to be in gemstone fever! That’s why it’s always important for me not just to show my customers some magnificent stars in the gemstone firmament, but also to create the appropriate atmosphere. With this stand, in the Idar-Oberstein Pavilion at the GJX, we reckoned we were not likely to be overlooked …

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But above all, of course, people’s attention was drawn by the special gemstones I’d brought with me. A sphene like this one is extremely rare. And word got around very quickly that I had this fabulous titanite from Sri Lanka on display! No wonder: the fire (or ‘dispersion’) of a sphene surpasses even that of a diamond. And at over 30 carats, this radiant green stone is suitable for really extravagant items of jewellery. Continue reading 5 exciting days in Tucson