Which are the most expensive gemstones?

(64 Posts)
harbinger Fri 24-May-13 17:52:34

If one had a piece of X vs a piece of Y, both with the same cut,clarity and whatever, are diamonds the most expensive?

What follows?

I'm not sure which are THE most, but Emeralds, Sapphires and Rubies all rate as being very expensive.

Wishiwasanheiress Fri 24-May-13 17:56:56

Yes generally.
Sapphire
Ruby
Emerald would be the traditional ones.

All again have colour cut clarity tables (pink sapphire etc).

Then you can go for rarity eg opals etc

MooseBeTimeForSpring Fri 24-May-13 18:01:59

A quick Google says Jadeite is the most expensive, followed by Red Diamonds.

TattyDevine Fri 24-May-13 18:05:25

Diamonds, Rubies, Sapphires, Emeralds, Garnets, Topaz, Blue Topaz, London Blue topaz, Amethyst, Peridot, Lemon Citrine, Citrine, Russian Kyanite, Russian Uvanovite (very rare at this point), Oregon Sunstone, African Morganite, Sleeping Beauty or some Arizona Turquoise - all fetch £££ in their better forms. Also chrome diopside.

You can buy rubies and emerald beads for not very much - they don't look that different than cloudy coloured glass in their worst form, but still look great in the right setting. As do most "beads" if done properly.

TattyDevine Fri 24-May-13 18:06:43

I'm pretty sure that weight for weight including clarity etc, diamonds are the most rare and therefore the most expensive...

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 18:10:33

Where is the cut off between precious and semi-precious gems?

Is it price,durability or something else?

Tatty, the diamonds thing is actually a huge marketing coup for De Beers.

Diamonds aren't particularly rare, (a whopping huge one would be but in general they are quite run of the mill.) and in the 1940's De Beers ran a successful ad campaign saying 'Diamonds are Forever'.

This was marketed to couples as THE engagement ring and to families as THE heirloom. And so due to popularity/demand etc the price of diamonds increased beyond their actual worth.

Rubies, Sapphires and Emeralds are probably slightly rarer than a diamond. Certainly if you had diamonds and emeralds of identical sizes/quality/colour etc then the emerald would be more expensive.

Also Aquamarine, Tourmaline etc are more 'expensive' jewels.

Garnets, Topaz, Peridot, Citrine etc are all less precious gems as they aren't as rare or difficult to cut.

Jadeite probably is the most expensive-rule of thumb is that the rarer it is the more expensive it will be. Diamonds are run of the mill and only rare of you get a coloured one or a ridiculously large one.

harbinger, it's based on how difficult they are to find... the harder they are to find the more expensive they are.

TattyDevine Fri 24-May-13 18:24:25

Interesting - if marketing is involved, then I guess the marketing has affected the market and therefore the increased demand for diamonds has pushed up the ultimate price...

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 18:28:54

Thank you Mrs C. You are always so helpful.

Emerald vs Tourmaline (seen), or chome diopside (never set eyes on) ?

It's pushed up the retail price anyway. Hence the ridiculous markup on diamonds. (Bog standard diamond ring- usually at least 200% markup)

TattyDevine Fri 24-May-13 18:46:00

Hmmmm, there's a lot of that in jewellery in general. Even in general beading and costume stuff, it makes my eyes sting how much certain brands like Lola Rose et al charge for stuff - I've been doing a bit of beading and jewellery making in the past year and a bit and do a good wire wrap and cold fusion, and I can have gold filled (rolled gold) which basically lasts a lifetime for less than this foul electroplate which leaves a rash and goes green within a few days.

Great profit margin though! I never charge 200% though, I'm too nice <<will never win businesswoman of year award>>

The jewellery market is like that, you're mostly paying for branding. Especially with 'premium branding'. There's no difference between a Tiffany ring and a non Tiffany one, and personally, they aren't enough of a collectors item to be an investment piece like ,say, Jensen....

Beading is a totally weird and bizarre submarket methinks. Lola Rose et al clearly just buy in bulk in Thailand and flog their substandard wares for a small fortune.

When it comes to beads I do like Coeur de Lion- because at least it's a bit different- but yet again massively overpriced.

linky local (to me) company who've done alright out of beading.

I only ever buy antique because then you're not paying for the phenomenal current trading prices. Quite often will buy a kilo of 'crap' just to melt down all the silver and harvest all the stones for something more interesting. Still way cheaper than buying new from the bullion merchants!

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 19:17:40

Are tourmaline and chrome diopside recognised as gems, by jewellers?

Harbinger- They are recognised as gems because gems is just a coverall phrase for a semiprecious or precious mineral stone.

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 20:23:33

I'm going round in circles.

Emerald or Tourmaline?

Perhaps for value?

Value-wise if it's like for like stone wise (which would be quite impossible ) I think that Emerald has the better market value.

Are you looking at buying something for yourself?

TattyDevine Fri 24-May-13 21:06:15

Because of everything mentioned above, which all makes perfect sense, I reckon (like with most things) just go for what you really like, what makes your eyes sing...(or your credit card buzz..whichever does it for you...)

Hahahaha well said Tatty. I'd recommend much of the same, go for what makes you happy.

If said thing is a happy-making stone in a horrid ring, get it at a good price and get beautiful new ring for your happy-making stone grin

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 21:10:53

For Meeeee at last! Sorry. I've looked in the local windows.

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 24-May-13 21:12:48

This is why I love mumsnet, so many knowledgable people about.

This is very interesting. I would love a fire opal ring and keep peeking in second hand jewellers but can never see anything. A friend had one and it was beautiful.

Hahaha harbinger. It's tough to find 'the one'! (Although easier than finding a partner!)

Have you looked at auction houses etc? If you go in with your business head on and a budget in mind you can get some great bargains.

GetOrf I like fire opals too- especially when they have the same flashes through them that normal opals get. Bloody hard to find though. The only 1 or 2 times I've had to source one I've went through stone merchants/cutters. (One of those jobs that nobody ever really realises that they exist.)

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 24-May-13 21:20:53

I have looked online a few times, they seem very rate indeed, and nothing like my friend's ring.

I will have to marry a jeweller. grin

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 21:27:07

This ring I've seen is 'round the corner'. That window is normally the second hand but it doesn't say that on the label.

Will they haggle?

JoyMachine Fri 24-May-13 21:27:54

How expensive is Tanzanite? It's fairly rare, and such a lovely colour.

getorf- I love fire opals too- so mesmerizing.

Getorf you'll find it one day. And it will be one of those 'meant to be' moments!

My family are all jewellers. None of them would recommend marrying a jeweller wink

When it comes to birthdays/xmas etc nobody has a clue what to get you-because jewellery would be silly..... and any potential DP's feel the terror when they realise that you are EXTREMELY particular about accepting a ring grin

There's also the fact that my mum is on her 15th wedding ring, as whenever they would run out of metal they'd just fling theirs in to bulk it up! Madness.

harbinger, even if it wasn't second hand I would haggle. Always haggle. Prices on jewellery in the window usually have a bit extra on them to allow for haggling so haggle and then haggle some more.

Joymachine, tanzanite is bloody expensive sad

Badvoc Fri 24-May-13 21:35:02

I want an opal ring getorf.
It's my birthstone.

Mine's peridot envy it's bogey green. Not that attractive.

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 21:49:43

Ah, but green can be emerald, chrome diopside, tsavorite or green sapphire

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 24-May-13 21:50:45

That is so funny about your mum's wedding ring!

GetOrfMoiLand Fri 24-May-13 21:51:09

Mine is aquamarine.

Meh to that.

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 21:57:52

How do you haggle with a jeweller? I feel intimidated.

I know, but if I'm going to do birthstones I need to do it properly harrumphs

SIL is 21 in a few weeks, she doesn't know yet, but she's getting a lovely ring with one of her grandmother's diamonds in it and one of her mother's pearls. It's a big chunky, melty deconstructed looking thing. Very cool and hippy chic.

As it's a waste of time buying jewellery for me- for my 21st I have nothing to show for it....(although I did have a pirate party.)

harbinger, it's tough but you just need to brassneck it.

Common ones are "It's a bit more than I'm comfortable spending"
"If it were £XXX (a lower price) I'd jump at it but this is just out of reach"

If it's second hand, you might only get 10-15% off it, if it is new hold out for more. Remember, the jeweller WANTS to sell this to you. They'd rather make some money on it rather than nothing at all.

And it they're being rubbish about it- take a picture of it and post it on here and I'll source you one cheaper wink

itsnothingoriginal Fri 24-May-13 22:01:26

V interesting thread! I absolutely love rings and could have a million of them and still want more... grin

Always haggle - although I made the mistake of telling DH that when we went engagement ring shopping and when we found 'the one' he went in with a ridiculous offer offer for it blush we did get a good discount though!

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 22:08:10

Ta, MrsC. Just hearing that gives me a bit oomph. Thanks

Remember if it's new- there's going to be a load of other sellers with the same stock. The ball is totally in your court - jewellers are going bust left right and centre, every sale counts!

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 22:20:33

Really! I wouldn't want to see this one go. DH is known!

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 22:22:49

As it's 25th also looking at Scandinavian Silver.

Ooh nice. I like Georj Jensen. He's my favourite silversmith/design house and very collectable! (The 60's , 70's stuff is phenomenal)

Mrscumber can I wade in on your knowledge?
I DH am in the market for an eternity ring.
I need platinum, want square cut stones to match my engagement solitaire but I want a thin band 4mm probably, channel set.
I have my heart set on purple sapphire with diamonds (half way round)
But someone told DH that sapphire is too soft.... Is this true?

And my engagement is a D colour loupe clean stone, will anything cheap look too yellow?

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 22:34:48

Always liked it. Let's see....

Where do you trust for stones?

Shattered, sapphire is soft in relation to diamond but it's not a soft stone. I have a sapphire ring that I wear a lot and it's fine. As with all gemstones though- it's not recommended that you wear them while cleaning etc. If I'm wearing diamonds I don't bother taking them off but if it was sapphire then I probably would.

It's all relative,but sapphire is not 'soft, it's just 'softer' than a diamond.

Only thing I'd consider with a purple sapphire in a channel set- it can look very dark. You don't really get to see the colour of the stone properly as the light doesn't pass through the stone in a channel set. Depending on the colour of the stone you end up with it might not look the way that you want. To err on the side of caution I'd go for a lighter coloured sapphire rather than a deep hue.

And when it comes to stones cheap doesn't necessarily mean yellow (there can be flaws, inclusions, etc etc.) For a channel set you won't need huge stones in comparison to your engagement ring, so that helps keep the stone cost down too.

Harbinger, for stones i use local gemstone dealer. They don't really like advertising because it's a bit of a word of mouth thing. The only ones in the know are the people that need to know if you get what I mean?

Probably a security thing. I'll PM you the details for the place I use if you like, but they don't have a website or anything. Let me know and I'll send it over wink

harbinger Fri 24-May-13 23:04:23

I think that you are in Scotland. Could the local jewellers use the stones?

I am. I'm near Glasgow, are you too?

Local manafacturing jewellers can make whatever you want for you using stones that you already have. Or some of them will be able to source the stones for you too. A good jeweller won't charge you for sourcing the stones, they just charge you for the work entailed and the raw resources required.

Going via the jeweller would probably be easiest to be honest as they might be able to get better prices with stone merchant than yourself. (It's all about who knows who.... it's cliquier than the school gates!)

mirai Sat 25-May-13 05:22:56

Is yellow sapphire particularly rare or valuable? There's a beautiful ring near me but it's not cheap...

YouCanCallMeBetty Sat 25-May-13 05:42:54

This thread is so interesting.

DH has a few uncut emeralds that a friend gave him when he lived in Africa. Have no idea what quality they are - they just look like dusty old stones to me!

How would I find a gem dealer who might buy them? Would it be better to have them cut first?

ZaraW Sat 25-May-13 07:36:00

I have a tsavorite ring which is a beautiful green. My favourite stone is emerald but it is around 7 I think in terms of hardness and has imperfections which are filled by castor oil.

Personally, I always by my stones seperately and then get the stone set. AJS gems are a great website you can get beautiful gems for less than a hundred pounds.

Also I haven't read all the posts so this may have been mentioned. De Beers set the price of diamonds artificially high they double the value so that diamonds are seen as "exclusive".

5318008 Sat 25-May-13 07:50:56

What a fab thread, love it.

Gerorf, there was a fire opal in that little jeweller in the lane behind what was m and s, in gloucester, the sainsbury end. Forget the lane name, was oooh twenty yrs ago. I coveted that ring.

NessaYork Sat 25-May-13 07:55:19

Diamonds are expensive because they are one of the hardest naturally occuring substances. Pure carbon, with each atom linked to its neighbour, it makes a perfect, extremly hard molecular structure. This is why they are used in industry and THAT is why they are so precious. It's not just clever marketing.

ZaraW Sat 25-May-13 08:51:31

An article on pricing for diamonds which is interesting
www.economist.com/node/456025

mirai - yellow sapphire is nice. Not as expensive as a pink but still a premium buy!

Callmebetty...if you speak to your local jeweller (not a chain) they should be able to sort you out with somebody in your area. (Also you're a lucky sod!)

Nessa, that is true, but before they were used in industry their massive surge in popularity was down to the De Beers campaign/brainwashing. Zara's article is pretty spot on. Good find!

noviceoftheday Sat 25-May-13 11:37:11

Tanzanite is my new favourite gemstone. Only problem is that its known as being soft like emeralds so don't do the washing up in it! I have got 2 rings and they're fabsmile

mirai Sat 25-May-13 11:40:14

Thanks mrscumberbatch. I tried it on yesterday and it was just divine, an oval with little diamond accents, 18k yellow gold. Trying to talk myself into it! smile

Viviennemary Sat 25-May-13 11:45:37

I was told years ago a flawless emerald was more expensive than a flawless diamond as they are scarcer. But I think pink diamonds are possibly rarer and more expensive. And also I expect the fashion of the moment will affect prices.

I love Tanzanite... don't have any for myself but definitely wouldn't say no wink Get a dishwasher novice!

mirai, take pictures!! Sounds gorgeous.

And vivienne-spot on!

YouCanCallMeBetty Sat 25-May-13 14:59:35

Thanks mrscumberbatch!

mirai Sun 26-May-13 07:41:43

I will do, I'll be passing by tomorrow actually so I will take a pic and maybe you can tell me what you think!! grin

shattered I've got a 3 carat purple sapphire in my engagement ring and I am always bashing it on stuff because it sticks out. The stone is perfect, not a Mark on it, so I think they're pretty robust!

hollyisalovelyname Sun 26-May-13 08:38:59

Saw the thread title and knew Mrs. C would know the answer. Was hoping she'd come along and she did. Ace as always.

blushes awww thankyou.... it's combining my two addictions- jewellery and mumsnetting wink

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