The Growth of the Market for Colored Stones and Sapphires

This excellent article featured in ForbesLife earlier this month. It points out that the jewelry market’s liking for colored stones, rubies and sapphires, has not waned, but in fact continues to flourish, as a Burmese ruby sold in 2006 for $3.6 million fetched $8.6 million at auction just last month.

It likens the colored stone market to the Wild West; unchartered territory where “buyers can discover rare treasures that are sure to appreciate.”

Elizabeth Taylor wearing her sapphire engagement ring

We are reminded that the great screen actress, Elizabeth Taylor, was given a sapphire engagement ring by her second husband, Michael Wilding, and this led to a lifetime’s predilection for emeralds and sapphires.

The article points out that the not all colored stones are equal. When it comes to assessing and valuing corundums the origin of a particular stone will have a major effect on the price. Sapphires from the mines of Burma, Kashmir and Sri Lanka have historically been prized more for their stones legendary color saturation.

The other main factor connoisseurs should consider is the authenticity of their intended stones. Only 2% of sapphires available on the market today are untreated, or ‘natural’. Which makes a visit to The Natural Sapphire Company website something of a must, as we have thousands of stones for sale that are unaffected by mankind’s alterations.

Our sapphires all come with a gemstone identification report and a scan report, that specify whether a stone has been treated or not, as well as identifying the stone’s origin. Reports accepted by all insurance companies for valuation. The type of assurance we all want.

Interestingly the article also notes that vintage sapphire jewelry is becoming a popular access route into the colored stone market. Edwardian sapphire rings often feature blue sapphires as their centre-stones.



Actress Mary Kate Olsen’s Engagement Ring


Actress and singer, Mary-Kate Olsen’s engagement ring turned out to be a vintage Cartier sparkler, involving a 4 carat diamond set in a 16 sapphire halo.

Pink sapphires, long recognized for their color intensity and brilliance, have also attracted a lot of attention lately. Again, it is a case of “where can I find unaltered stones?”

The Natural Sapphire Company is an obvious first port of call, I would suggest.