Published: August 2011
by George Williams, JTV Sr. Gemstone Buyer & Choi Asawapongpanich, BBJ Buyer
The popularity of Altai aquamarine has grown tremendously in the country that it hails from: China. It will be difficult for the JTV team to replace these gems in the future as most are being purchased in the local gem markets.
This is especially true with good color aquamarine stones in sizes of 8x6mm and larger. Altai aquamarine has very good “crystal brilliance” as compared to aquamarine from other localities.
Altai aquamarine stones and rough from a mine in China’s Xinjiang province have amazing luster and colors range from fine sky blues to South Sea blues.
JTV's overseas buying team has seen prices on Altai aquamarine rough in the local market increase four fold in recent months!
Apparently, it’s not just Altai aquamarine that’s in high demand. Aquamarine rough prices are skyrocketing especially in larger sizes and finer quality. There is strong buying competition among the Brazilian and Chinese aquamarine rough buyers.
Across the board, mining production of Santa Maria-like color aquamarine is down in Brazil, Madagascar, Nigeria, China, India and Pakistan. Only the Madagascar and Brazilian mines are furnishing larger sized rough which is needed to yield larger size gems.
Modified April 2011