Original article from blouinartinfo.com
Colored gemstones set new records for Bonhams in 2015 and will continue to be in high demand in 2016, the auction house said.
Emily Barber, Bonhams’ London-based jewelry department director, predicts that gemstones of various hues will drive the market as fine examples get rarer and rarer.
“Without a doubt we are seeing the return of the so-called precious stones: emeralds, rubies and sapphires. Demand is very, very strong and record prices are being paid,” said Barber. “We are also seeing strong prices being paid for other colored stones like spinel and we expect to see more demand for this wonderfully colored gemstone this coming year.”
Prices for fancy coloured diamonds, especially blue diamonds, may get stratospheric, as only 0.04% of gem-quality mined diamonds mined are blue. In December 2015, Bonhams London sold a fancy greyish-blue step-cut diamond of 2.97 carats for £1.5 million against its pre-sale estimate of £500,000-700,000.
Sapphires from Kashmir are also expected to beat estimates at auction. In December 2015, Bonhams London sold a pair of late 19th century diamond earrings set with Kashmir sapphires sold for £1.5 million against a pre-sale estimate of £500,000-700,000.
Meanwhile, collectors are showing strong interest in spinels, tourmalines, and rubies from new locations such as Madagascar, noted Bonhams. These stones are also becoming more attractive as prices of more traditional gemstones have skyrocketed out of reach.
A good example was the Hope Spinel which Bonhams sold in September 2015 for £962,500 — or a new world record price of £30,000 per carat — far exceeding its pre-sale estimate of £150,000-200,000.