Gold Sheen Sapphire Price Update April 2018

This update for Gold Sheen Sapphire pricing uses sales price point data from Tucson, Hong Kong and Bangkok exhibitions, as well as shop front sales from January to April 2018.

Gold Sheen Sapphire Price History 1st Half 2018

Prices have increased for all grades, most notably for grade 1 and 2. Increased pricing was a result of strong interest from Japanese buyers, which flowed over to grade 2 pricing as well. Grade three pricing was a more general result of broad buyer interest.  Most notably highest quality pieces reached $1,000 per carat – a significant milestone for Gold Sheen Sapphire.

If you would like information about how to invest in Gold Sheen Sapphire you can visit our wholesale page: https://sjwgems.com/wholesale/ or email gss@sjwgems.com.

 

Gold Sheen Sapphire Price Update 2nd Half 2017

This is the price update for Gold Sheen Sapphire for the 2nd half of 2017. It covers the reported sale prices from the September Hong Kong and Bangkok Gem and Jewelry Trade Fairs.

I have made the following changes to the chart layout:

  • Removed ‘Sell’ and ‘Buy’ prices 
  • ‘Street’ is now ‘Trade Price’
  • Reporting periods are now half yearly, not quarterly. 
  • Added ‘5 Point Moving Average’ price

Since price data comes principally from major trade fairs, ‘Trade Price’ of pieces sold is a more reliable indicator of current price. There are enough data points now to give a meaningful moving average, this should provide a good trend indicator for the future price.

Gold Sheen Sapphire price 2nd half 17
Gold Sheen Sapphire price 2nd half 2017

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New Diamond Cut Gold Sheen Sapphire

New Gold Sheen Sapphire ‘diamond cut’ direct from the factory from carefully selected highest grade rough.

Diamond Cut Gold Sheen Sapphire
Diamond Cut Gold Sheen Sapphire

After careful selection of the rough, about 10% of material is suitable for this high grade faceting. Once faceted, only one or two pieces in 10 make this selection. Most pieces show colour change from metallic copper/gold in incandescent light to blue/green in natural light.

Translucent Gold Sheen Sapphire diamond cut
Translucent Gold Sheen Sapphire diamond cut

While most pieces come opaque, typical of Gold Sheen Sapphire, about 20% come as translucent with yellow, green/yellow and gold hues.

All are available in all calibrated sizes from 3mm to 10mm, or can be cut to order.

Movement in Gold Sheen Sapphire Price

The first and second quarter of 2017 have seen some interesting movement on the price of gold sheen sapphire.

Gold Sheen Sapphire Carat Price Q2 2017 Update
Gold Sheen Sapphire Carat Price Q2 2017 Update

The price for top grade stones has increased slightly in Q1 and remains stable though Q2. Meanwhile prices for all other grades took a dip in Q1 and remain constant in Q2, with the exception of the street price of grade 2 stones which improved in Q2.

It seems clear that the market is becoming more discerning, reflected in the willingness to pay for best quality material. The trend has been for increasing sales from repeat buyers, which have exceeded reported sales from first time buyers for the first time in Q1, and continuing into Q2. This is further reflected in the price drop of lowest grade material, where buyers have been able to negotiate pricing based on large volume orders.

Special promotions for new cutting and polishing techniques as well as the introduction of new cut types and increased presence at trade shows have all contributed to fluctuations in mid to high grade pricing.

Price Chart Key:

  • Grade 1 – No surface defects, no structural defects, or ‘very rare’
    Grade 2 – Eye clean surface, no structural defects, or ‘rare’
    Grade 3 – Minor surface defects, minor structural defects. or ‘common’
  • Anything less than Grade 3 is not available for sale and either discarded or re-cut.
  • “Buy” is the wholesale price for Grade 3 stones in large quantities over 10,000 carats
  • “Sell” is the price offered for sale from retail or trade fare for single stones or small sales.
  • “Street” is the negotiated price for small quantities of stones of various grades.

 

Gold Sheen Sapphire Price Update

The price of gold sheen sapphire continues to rise.  This is the origional post of the two year price history – http://sjwgems.com/articles/price-of-gold-sheen-sapphire-2-year-history/.  Now here is the price update:

gold sheen sapphire price history
Gold Sheen Sapphire price history for 4th quarter 2016

I am not particularly surprised that the price of the highest grade cut is so strong.   The latest batch I reported here http://sjwgems.com/articles/new-factory-cuttings-gold-sheen-sapphire/ really are spectacular.

I heard a comment today from a long time collector and now investor in gold sheen sapphire.  He said “The more I handle and look at the goldsheen (sic) sapphires, the more I appreciate their unique beauty”. Which is my own sentiment exactly, and I think that is also evident in the strengthening market price.

New Factory Cuttings – Gold Sheen Sapphire

The latest batch of Gold Sheen Sapphires from the factory are showing some remarkable characteristics.

Gold Sheen Sapphire cabochon
Gold Sheen Sapphire cabochons, yet to be graded.

First, we are seeing vivid asterism in the cabs.  All gold sheen sapphires cabs have some degree of asterism, but usually it is quite faint.  The rough we are cutting now seems to have more rutile, which gives them both a ‘sleepier’ look, and the much more prominent star:

Gold sheen sapphire cabochons vivid star
Prominent star features on gold sheen sapphire cabochons

You can see the rutile silk under multiple light sources (with a single light source, these would have a prominent star)

Gold Sheen Sapphire cabs softer silk look
Gold Sheen Sapphire cabs showing softer silk look due to greater rutile inclusion

Then, there was this incredible find – for the first time we have seen completely transparent gold sheen sapphire with full sheen and star effect.  The smartphone snapshot does it no justice, but imagine the transparency of a vivid blue medium tone sapphire, but instead of blue, the colour is golden sheen.

transparent star gold sheen sapphire
Incredibly beautiful star gold sheen sapphire, completely transparent, very very rare.

Out of 200,000 carats cut, we have found less than 20 carats of stones like this. We know how to cut is as cabochons, so that is what the factory did.  But what I am thinking is, what if we faceted it with a brilliant cut?  I’ll run it by Tanzim and see what he thinks.

New Factory Cuttings – Ruby

I have just seen the latest cuttings from the factory for ruby.  We are getting more range of colour and gradings as we progress into the parcel.

Tray of ruby cabochons
Tray of ruby cabs sorted by colour grade
Tray of dark ruby cabochons
Tray of darker ruby cabs sorted by colour grade

I am seeing quite a lot of medium-light and slight purplish red natural unheated ruby cabs in the market now, between $200 and $300 per carat.  The lighter stones we are getting from the parcel would match that grade.

Some, like these, are at the other end of the tone scale with strong purple red to purple/red hue and strong saturation:

 

Dark Ruby Cabochons
Dark ruby cabs

But I have to say, I do prefer the medium/dark tone best of all:

Medium Dark to dark Ruby cabs
Medium Dark to dark Ruby cabs with moderate to strong saturation

SJW gems can supply ruby cabs in calibrated sizes to any specification.  We own the rough and control the production through to the final polish and shipment.  We can accommodate order sizes up to 10,000 carats per month, and welcome small orders from collectors and independent designers.  Talk to us now for your Christmas Season orders!

Quick Guide to Buying and Investing in Ruby

Some tips and advice for people interested in buying or investing in ruby in the longer term.  The main things to consider and avoid.

Ruby is one of the ‘big three’ of precious gemstones – Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald.  At one time these were the only types of gems considered ‘precious’, and everything else was ‘semi=precious’.  The finest ruby is worth more than diamond, but you can find ruby from as little as $5 per carat (not that you would want to buy it though).

  • Natural Ruby – For investment purposes, only ever buy natural ruby.  Manufactured ruby looks good and is fine for less expensive jewellery, but as an investment it has no long term appreciative value.
Ruby Ring
1 ct Ruby gold ring. Natural ruby with mild heat treatment.
  • Glass Filled Ruby – When buying natural ruby, absolutely stay away from glass filled ruby!  I can not stress this enough,  There is a lot of glass filled ruby around at the moment and you can usually tell because it sells for under $10 per carat.  Glass filled ruby is not a permanent treatment, and the gem will deteriorate quite quickly over time.  When it is new it is hard to spot, but after even as little as a few months the gem starts to become cloudy as stress fractures build up in the glass.
  • Heat treatment – Heat treatment of ruby and sapphire has been around for hundreds of years, and is so common that the GIA advises that unless you have certain knowledge otherwise, assume your ruby is heat treated.  When done properly it improves the clarity, colour and appeal of the gem.  However, there is some risk that ‘heat treatment’ may be used to describe a gem that has been glass filled (which is a type of heat treatment). Unless you know what to look for or are buying from someone you trust, avoiding heat treated ruby will ensure you are not getting an inferior glass filled gem. For an excellent article on heat treatment, see A Brief History of Heat: Heat treatment of ruby & sapphire by Richard W. Hughes.
  • Other Treatments – Generally all related to heat treating, other processes can include the addition of chemicals to penetrate or coat the gem and improve the colour and fill in any surface flaws.  When a coating is applied it is called ‘diffusion’, and if the coating gets scratched or damaged, the appeal of the gem will decrease. Irradiation is another surface treatment where the gem is exposed to beryllium.  This is a temporary treatment that will improve the colour, but soon wears off.   These treatments are detectable in a gemological lab and always decrease the long term value of the gem.
  • The four ‘C’s – Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat size apply to rubies just like any other gemstone.  Large carat rubies (over 4 carats) are particularly rare.  There is an excellent guide to the frou c’c of rubies at ringspro.com.
  • Unheated – For any given quality, unheated, natural ruby commands the highest price.  A 10x jewelers loupe is usually sufficient to tell a gem with heat treatment from an unheated one.  For investment purposes and longevity, nothing will surpass unheated natural stones.

ruby-cabochon-1-3ct
Unheated natural ruby 1.3ct

ruby-cabochon-1-91ct
Unheated natural ruby 1.9ct

ruby-cabochon-2-0ct
Unheated natural ruby 2ct

ruby-cabochon-large-16-35ct
Large unheated natural ruby 16.35ct
  • Types of Ruby Cuts – Rubies can be faceted or cabbed, both are beautiful.  Generally the best stone is used for faceting,while more opaque and darker stone is used for cabochons.  Hence, faceted ruby usually has a higher price per carat than cabochon.  However, ruby cabs will sometimes have a star phenomena, caused by needle like inclusions of rutile.  The more prominent the star, the better.  Like sapphire, ruby will have a six arm star, or sometimes, very rarely, a 12 arm star.
Star Ruby Earrings
Star Ruby Earrings

If you have more questions about buying or investing in ruby, email me at steve@sjwgems.com, I will be very happy to help you.