Most working in the industry are aware sapphires are routinely treated to increase their marketability. What many dealers, manufacturers, and retailers may not be aware of, however, is a relatively new treatment used to beautify unattractive sapphire: high pressure, high temperature (HPHT).
Each February like clockwork, the faithful and the curious make their way to Tucson, Ariz., for the American Gem Trade Association’s (AGTA’s) GemFair and other shows to seek out new stones and jewellery.
Every Tucson GemFair develops its distinct persona, evolving from a fusion of economics, supply, new finds, and a marketing behemoth that fuels demand. This year was no different, with exhibitors characterizing the mood as upbeat and confident, and retailers looking to pick up old favourites and lesser-knowns alike.
Coloured stone marketing is poles apart from diamond trading, even though many retailers offer both. The secret for swift sales lies in establishing the right price to move the inventory in one season. Coloured stone jewellery is often linked to fashion, but hues that are hot one season are not necessarily the next.
Gemstone and diamond cutters understand the subtle and not-so-subtle impact of expert cutting and polishing on a stone’s appearance and value. Educating the public on the difference in price for this precision work? Well, that’s another story.