Diamond, emerald, ruby and sapphire. In the world of gemstones, the famous Big Four tend to be regarded as the measure of all things. So the prices at which they change hands on the market today are correspondingly high. But investors should be prepared to look a little further: for the fact is that Mother Nature has a lot more to offer. These four treasures, for example …
Neon-blue power: Paraiba tourmaline
An unbelievable number of facets. Radiant blue-green. The Paraiba tourmaline looks as if it is moving, as if it has come alive. And that is why it is among the world’s most valuable gemstones. The stone has the element copper to thank for its incomparable luminosity. It was not until 1987 that it appeared: first in Brazil, then later in Nigeria and Mozambique. Exactly the same kind of stone on two different continents? Millions of years ago, they were still one: the super-continent of Gondwana. In the mean time, these neon-coloured tourmalines are fetching absolutely top prices.
Highlight in orange: mandarin garnet
The mandarin garnet has only been known in the gemstone trade for 20 years, yet it is already a much celebrated star today. Its name speaks volumes. Gemstone lovers can draw attention to themselves with this fruity-coloured stone. Having said that, high-quality top-class stones of more than three carats are extremely rare. Both the demand and the price have increased markedly in recent years. That is why the mandarin garnet too is predestined for sparkling investments.
Yellow-green rarity: canary tourmaline
Back in ancient China, yellow was regarded as the colour of the emperor, as a symbol of kudos and progress. But one kind of yellow is not necessarily the same as another. A high manganese content gives the canary tourmaline – unlike other yellow tourmalines – its lemon-yellow hue and vivacious lustre. It was not until about 15 years ago that this wonderful stone was discovered in the East African country of Zambia. However, that spectacular find only produced a very limited number of stones. The canary tourmaline is a top-class stone. Specimens of more than one carat are extremely hard to find.
The green tsar: demantoid
In translation, demantoid means ‘diamond-like’. No wonder, for this rare gemstone has a refraction and dispersion that are similar to those of “a girl’s best friend”. Around 1900, the famous Peter Carl Fabergé created magnificent items of jewellery with this sparkling green treasure, which had been discovered in his Russian homeland. True connoisseurs also hold the famous ‘horsetails’ in high esteem; inclusions which are only found in Russian specimens and thus contribute to their being regarded as particularly valuable on the market.
They were particularly thrilled about a set of 12 sparkling and colourful stones from many different parts of the world. Each carefully selected stone in the set weighed 25 carats, so that altogether they tipped the scales at 290 carats. Aquamarine, rubellite, yellow beryl, green tourmaline, imperial topaz, peridot, tanzanite, peridot or kunzite – this set takes true gemstone lovers’ breath away! Continue reading GIA Feature: My treasures in front of the camera→
harmony, contentedness, eternity. Many people associate the colour blue with these concepts. In my treasure chamber there are some exclusive highlights which are every bit as beautiful as a bright summer sky!
A shine like no other: blue zircon
There is hardly a stone with such a high refraction as zircon. And this comes out particularly well when the stone is blue. With its diamantine shine and its unbelievable optical depth, the blue zircon is an absolute highlight in my current collection ‘more than just rare’. The stone originates from Cambodia, weighs 38 carats and measures 18 by 15 millimetres, and sparkles in a star and step cut. A genuine cushion-shaped heavyweight! A stone of this size and quality is very rare – and predestined to be a collector’s item for that reason.Continue reading Springtime – Baselworld highlights 2015→
Canary, Paraiba and imperial topaz: exclusive gemstones for the first sunbeams of the year.
This year too, the Hong Kong International Diamond & Gem Show and BASELWORLD will attract numerous gemstone connoisseurs from all over the world. I will be presenting to my customers three particularly rare stones from my premium line ‘More than just rare’. And what is more, they fit in really well with the coming season from the fashion point of view!
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.
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.”