Month: May 2020


The upbeat albeit uneventful Tucson gem shows at the beginning of 2020 have been followed by the unprecedented effects of COVID-19. While it is too early to predict any outcome, it is clear that almost everything in the gem business has been experiencing an extreme slowdown.


In the course of my 40+ year career in gemology, many gemstones have crossed my desk but rarely are they so special that they take your breath away. In the last year, this happened twice. The first time was with a 24 ct unheated padparadscha sapphire in a private collection.

Insurance: No Profit – No Loss

Barron’s Dictionary of Insurance Terms defines indemnity as, “Compensation for loss. In a property and casualty contract, the objective is to restore an insured to the same financial position after the loss. But the insured should not be able to profit by damage or destruction of property, nor should the insured be in a worse financial position after loss.”2 In essence, the insured is not to make a profit or sustain a loss but to break even in the event of casualty loss.

The Virus Impact and the Future

The diamond industry like so many came to halt. Rough prices are sliding among little mining and low demand. However, polished prices have not been as impacted for the time being. Canada mining in some financial trouble with Dominion Diamonds entering into solvency protection. However, they anticipate resuming mining operations when global markets reopen.

Provenance of Pink Diamonds

Fancy colored diamonds are breaking all records at auctions for price paid per carat. Blue and red diamonds are considered the most expensive natural gems by weight in the world.

Colored Stone Market

The jewelry industry, like so many, has been severely impacted by the virus. Conflicting reports have some claiming sharp declines in prices, others no real change. Mining companies have mostly closed down. With no rough surplus to push prices lower, prices are not decreasing yet, but could if the situation does not improve soon. Social media selling has been successful as a backup to many companies. Designers and custom jewelers are still buying, even if lower price points.

Considerations to Valuing Colored Diamonds

The market for natural fancy color diamonds experienced substantial growth during the past two decades. This market expansion resulted from a combination of increased supply and a well-organized marketing campaign that grew consumer demand for previously less desirable grades and colors.