Colombian Emerald Market Report

Published: September 2011
by Shawn O’Sullivan, JTV® Sr. Gemstone Buyer

2011 started off with very strong sales reported from the ‘big 3’ gem and jewelry shows: Tucson, Bangkok and Hong Kong. Most vendors were excited about the upbeat feeling in the market but also expressed concern about the shortages of certain gems. One gem whose presence was severely missed at the shows is Colombian Emerald.

Recently, shares of one of the most renowned mines in Colombia, the Muzo Mine, were purchased by a major U.S. company. Production seems to be down and prices are up...approximately 30%+, especially for better goods. Most Emerald production in the Colombian market is what I would call "thin", meaning that the goods are consumed as soon as they are cut. There does not seem to be large reserves stockpiled for slow periods of production.

Read more about emerald in our Gemopedia™

This is where a blend of knowledge, experience and a bit of luck helps tremendously. The relationships with key vendors we have built over the years keeps us up to speed on the market conditions--as well as giving us the best buying opportunities. As we are seeing most gemstone prices on the rise in today’s world, we are finding that some of the best buys are not at the mining regions in that country but rather sitting in the back of vendors’ vaults and safes right here in the U.S.A.!

My recent buy of a small lot of Colombian Emeralds is a prime case in point. For the past 1 1/2 - 2 years, vendors have been reporting that prices are up sharply on Colombian Emeralds. On top of that, they were also stating that availability of medium color, bright, crystal material was very difficult to be had.

A few weeks ago, I had the good fortune to find a nice lot of fine Colombian Emeralds that the vendor said he has had for quite some time. This lot was happily negotiated within a few minutes. What you have now is a small window of opportunity to buy a fine Emerald from Colombia at exceptional prices. For those wanting to own a beautiful Emerald from Colombia...now is the time! Check them out!

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