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Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternatives
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Author:  gian92 [ Fri Sep 01, 2017 11:25 am ]
Post subject:  Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternatives

Are people with valuable natural sapphires/emeralds worried who bought them (at least partly) as an investment worried about the possibility that the market might stop caring about whether a stone is natural or synthetic?
In that case prices of natural stones would plummet.
Some synthetics are already hard to distinguish using just a 10x triplet, why should consumers keep paying 100 times more for fine natural stones?

To me, a natural stone is much more attractive since I know it has taken an extremely long time to grow and that the chances of it coming out of high quality were tiny. But I guess that if one only cares about appearance those considerations are irrelevant!


This is more of a theoretical question since I cannot afford expensive natural gemstones anyway :)

Author:  Stephen Challener [ Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternative

Synthetics have been around for centuries and have not had that kind of effect on the market for the most part. I think most people feel that if it were going to happen it would have happened by now.

Author:  dchallener [ Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternative

In general I think buying stones for an investment is a bad idea. Unless you have a store that gives you an outlet for selling the stones, and you do this regularly, gemstones should be bought for their enjoyment, not for their value (and as cheaply as possible :-D ).

Author:  gian92 [ Tue Sep 05, 2017 5:54 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternative

dchallener wrote:
In general I think buying stones for an investment is a bad idea. Unless you have a store that gives you an outlet for selling the stones, and you do this regularly, gemstones should be bought for their enjoyment, not for their value (and as cheaply as possible :-D ).

But if you happen to enjoy expensive gemstones, it can get pretty costly very fast!
I.e. I would feel quite comfortable spending 2000 dollars on a nice 1ct ruby if I know that in 20 years I would be able to resell it for a similar price in case I should need the money, it would be much harder to justify spending that money if there were a significant chance that it's resale value would be effectively 0 due to advancements in the technology to create realistic synthetics :)

Author:  ROM [ Tue Sep 05, 2017 10:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternative

Certain gems do increase in value for various reasons, even some synthetics. Others can lose value, generally as the result of new discoveries that flood the market. But as mentioned above, buying stones at the right price and being able to re-market them is the key.

That function is usually filled by active and knowledgeable gem dealers who can do both, as opposed to "investors" who buy at retail and expect to sell back to dealers who buy at source prices.

However I wish I'd bought some Kashan flux-grown ruby rough when it was available. It's an example of a synthetic that's shown considerable appreciation in value, mainly for the collector market.

Author:  Tom Herman [ Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:03 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternative

Stephen Challener wrote:
Synthetics have been around for centuries and have not had that kind of effect on the market for the most part.


Stephen, Synthetic Corundums have only been around 140/120 years:

By 1877, chemist Edmond Frémy had devised an effective method for commercial ruby manufacture by using molten baths of alumina, yielding the first gemstone-quality synthetic stones. The Parisian chemist Auguste Verneuil collaborated with Fremy on developing the method, but soon went on to independently develop the flame fusion process, which would eventually come to bear his name.

One of Verneuil's sources of inspiration for developing his own method was the appearance of synthetic rubies sold by an unknown Genevan merchant in 1880. These "Geneva rubies" were dismissed as artificial at the time, but are now believed to be the first rubies produced by flame fusion, predating Verneuil's work on the process by 20 years. After examining the "Geneva rubies", Verneuil came to the conclusion that it was possible to recrystallise finely ground aluminium oxide into a large gemstone. This realisation, along with the availability of the recently developed oxyhydrogen torch and growing demand for synthetic rubies, led him to design the Verneuil furnace, where finely ground purified alumina and chromium oxide were melted by a flame of at least 2,000 °C (3,630 °F), and recrystallised on a support below the flame, creating a large crystal. He announced his work in 1902, publishing details outlining the process in 1904.

By 1910, Verneuil's laboratory had expanded into a 30-furnace production facility, with annual gemstone production by the Verneuil process having reached 1,000 kg (2,200 lb) in 1907.

Author:  Stephen Challener [ Sat Sep 23, 2017 5:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternative

Tom Herman wrote:
Stephen Challener wrote:
Synthetics have been around for centuries and have not had that kind of effect on the market for the most part.


Stephen, Synthetic Corundums have only been around 140/120 years:

Yes, you're quite correct! I typed carelessly there.

Author:  Barbra Voltaire, FGG [ Sat Sep 23, 2017 11:25 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Investment in colored gemstones and syntetic alternative

As David alluded to earlier, an investment presumes one has a strategy in place to cash in on potential returns.
Unless one is in the jewelry/gem business, the options to cash out at a profit are very limited. The retail replacement value on a gem is profoundly different from a fair market or liquidation value.

Personally, when I want to invest, I call Charles Schwab.

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