From Precious Gemstones Producer to Purchaser
When it comes to working with precious gemstones and metal, China has a pedigree that goes back around 3000 years. However, in more recent years, ever since the country has shown its potential for economic growth in 1978, China’s precious gemstones market has been on the rise. After establishing itself as a global manufacturing hub and coupled with China’s growing domestic consumption. Together with a growing middle class and increasing urbanization, many are turning to precious gemstones and jewelry as potential investments.
“Durable, beautiful, rare and an important means of exchange, gold and diamonds have long been sought after for investment purposes,” says Markus Wild, managing director of Paul Wild OHG, “Recently, however, attention is gradually being shifted to precious gemstones as a store of wealth. Individuals from Asia, in particular, are now considering gemstones an insurance against fluctuation and depreciation of paper money.”
Precious Gemstones as Investment
Luxury goods consumers in China turn to precious gemstones and jewelry for investment purposes, or simply for their own interest. Therefore, China is seeing a specific trend and interest towards the interest colored gemstones.
“At the beginning, most inquiries focused on all kinds of tourmaline, and then on emerald or tanzanite. Recently we are seeing a broader range of colored stones that sell. Sapphire and ruby on the classic side enjoy substantial recognition but also beryl in form of aquamarine and morganite, all the garnet varieties, from Mandarin garnet and tsavorite to demantoid, and cat’s eye or star phenomenal stones are experiencing more solid demands now,” continues Wild.
“Rubellite has been enjoying strong demand in China in recent years,” says Tatjana Li, general manager of Paul Wild in Greater China. “Other tourmaline colors, such as green, are also becoming increasingly popular in the market.”
Unlike gold or diamonds – colored stones are taxed the same rate as other luxury goods. And the fact is that China’s colored gem resources are thin on the ground mean this market depends on imported goods. This drives the prices up for these products significantly, which of course, increases its prestige.
China’s growing domestic market, due to its rising middle class and wages, things became competitive in the industry. However, there is still room for the market to grow. In fact, the growing Chinese consumption of colored gemstones has driven up the market prices. At the same time, supplying the demand is getting tough and some international dealers are struggling to replenish their inventory.
“I went to a mine to buy rough,” said a U.S. colored stone dealer, “and a Chinese buyer had already bought their production. When I returned six months later, the Chinese had purchased the mine.”
At the moment, China is the second-largest jewelry consumer in the world. In addition, its economy showing consistent growth and strength, averaging 10% annually. Therefore, people expected that China could overtake the U.S. within the next 10 years, and while its current consumption per capita of jewelry and gems is low when compared to the U.S., it is rising at a dramatic rate. China is not only a global leader in manufacturing, its domestic jewelry market is also diversifying and developing. Thus, we are likely to see quite a boom in its gemstone market in the future.
Find out more about precious gemstones and jewelry here.