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October Newsletter - Emerald in demand

At a time of year when many places are turning red, orange, and yellow with the autumn, China is going green. Not in the environmental sense, though; we’re talking about green gemstones, emerald in particular.

The color green, especially in gemstones such as jade, has been culturally significant to the Chinese for millennia. In their culture, green symbolizes health, prosperity and harmony. Throughout Chinese history, jade has always been the most iconic and prolific green mineral for ceremonial and utilitarian purposes, but the new school of Chinese gemstone investors has fallen in love with a more highly prized symbol of affluence – the emerald. And not just any emerald, the highest quality and most rare they can find.

For anyone with immense capital - as many Chinese buyers have - the choice of excellence for emeralds is the Colombian source. However, that supply of these gemstones has steadily declined over the last 3 decades, leaving consumers in search of a more available market.

In 2009, Gemfields – majority owner of the world’s largest emerald mine in Kagem, Zambia – launched a new transparency campaign that boosted confidence in colored gemstones among consumers, particularly the Chinese, who sought access to a market traditionally influenced by Indian experts.

The Kagem mine produced 80,900 carats of emerald in the first 6 months of 2019, this accounts for roughly 1/3 of world’s supply. In August of this year, organizers of this mine’s annual auction invited Chinese companies to attend for the first time since its inception in 2009.

Typically dominated by Indian investors, this year’s Kagem auction saw the highest number of international participants (many of whom were Chinese), according to Kagem Mining Limited’s chairmen, Sixtus Mulenga, who is more than happy that his country’s emerald exports are expanding into China. But what does this mean to you?

With Chinese buyers at the table, we can expect higher purchasing capital to give them a competitive edge over the tenacious Indian buyers. So, what’s the difference? Well, Indian buyers tend to purchase, process, then sell emeralds to foreign markets; whereas, with the Chinese, these emeralds are more than likely to stay in China, leaving a gap in the international market supply.

The bottom line is that we expect emeralds to increase in price and decrease in supply. Even if they remain readily available, the average person may be priced out of the market due to enthusiastic Chinese buyers. Our advice is to buy now so that you can get what you want at the lowest prices. At the very least, you will be able to find what you want; the best case scenario is that you will see the value of your emeralds climb as wealthy Chinese buyers clamor for the next status symbol – a Zambian emerald.

At Gemselect we have bountiful stocks of emerald from Colombia and Zambia. Our intimate proximity to the world famous Chanthaburi gemstone market has given us the pick of the highest quality material that we then process into the very finest emerald gemstones available to you for the best price per carat.

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Chrysoprase, Lapis Lazuli, Tourmaline, Grandidierite, Cat's Eye Moonstone, Hessonite Garnet...

Customer Questions

Every month we answer questions of general interest from our customers. Please feel free to send your questions or suggestions to our support team at


I have a 1 carat cushion cut pink sapphire that I got for my 8th birthday. I'm 54 years old now, are older stones worth more?


The value of a gemstone is generally not affected by the age of the stone, but by the overall quality including weight, clarity, color saturation, origin, treatment, shape and cut. Precious gems such as Sapphires do however generally increase in value over the years, so they are seen as a good investment.


How often do you add new items?


We add a large number of new items on a daily basis, and you can view all of these in our New Arrivals section. The items are sorted by Gem Type to make it easier to find the stone of your choice. You can also use our search functions where you can for example search by color or shape.

To ensure you can receive our emails, please be sure to add to your list of safe contacts, or add us into your email address book! Please feel free to contact us with any questions, comments, and queries! We respond to every email we receive.

Happy Gemstone Hunting!

Team GemSelect

  • First Published: September-27-2019
  • Last Updated: October-01-2019
  • © 2005-2019 all rights reserved.
    Reproduction (text or graphics) without the express written consent of (SETT Company Ltd.) is strictly prohibited.
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