In our previous post we discussed how to sell gems, but the hard truth is that some gems are easier to sell than others. There are certain gems that hold their value over time or even gain value even when accounting for currency inflation. Which gemstones are the best to invest in? Which ones are more of a gamble? It's a varied and interesting topic with a wide range of answers, but as always we will do our best to break it down into something digestible. There's plenty to cover so let's not hesitate and jump into things without further delay!
The One Rule of Gem Investment
Gems are not the best investment you can make. I'd suggest buying a precious metal instead, but if you insist on investing in gems there is one rule you should know. If you're investing in commercial-quality gemstones, you're going to take a loss. There are no two ways about it.
Commercial gems have little to no resale value so stay far away from them. What you should be looking for are the far superior investment-quality gemstones. Sapphires, rubies, emeralds, demantoids, aquamarines, tsavorites, spinels, tourmalines or alexandrite are the most notable among these, but we'll also talk briefly about the more common favorites like pearls and diamonds.
Gemstones are an investment that needs to be maintained. They won't tarnish like silver, but you'll want to keep them looking their best especially if you're looking to put them on the market and cash out. Hardier gems will benefit greatly from the extremely deep clean offered by our ultrasonic jewelry cleaner kit. Some more sensitive gems will need a much softer hand-cleaning, for these occasions the gentle jewelry cleaning kit is perfect. Protect your investment!
When I say gemstones, almost everyone thinks 'diamonds'. This stone sells somewhat easier than other gems which is strange because it's quite common. Truly exquisite diamonds can be a worthy investment, but you'll need to do your homework to ensure they are flawless.
Blue sapphires are the standard but pink and yellow colored sapphires are rising in popularity. A sapphire without any visible inclusions or chips can hold its price indefinitely. Pristine sapphires can easily reach $11,000 per carat.
The nice thing about rubies is how durable they are. This is the epitome of a long-term investment. It's always red in color. Deeper shades are more valuable. These are some of the most expensive gemstones in the world, beating out everything on this list in price per carat regarding pristine gems.
One of my personal favorites due to the shades of green. Similar to rubies, darker shades are more valuable. Emeralds hold prices on the lower end of the investment scale with even the finest stones not quite reaching $5,000 per carat. Still might be decent as an entry point for low-level gemstone investors.
Demantoid is a variety of garnet. Pricing can vary greatly based on size and quality so it's important that you know exactly what it is that you're buying. The low end of demantoids can retail for just a few dollars per carat while the upper retail end can net almost ten thousand per carat.
These greenish blue stones are usually at the lower end of the price range unless their color is exceptionally saturated. Similar to emeralds they are a good place to start for beginning gemstone investors. You can expect them to range from around $100-$250 per carat.
Another variety of garnet that is often compared to the emerald due to coloring, but the price range foe tsavorite can far exceed that of an emerald if the quality is absolute top-tier. You can expect around $8,000 per carat for investment quality tsavorite.
Spinels are interesting in that the value goes up rather significantly at higher sizes. You can pick up 1 or 2 carat investment quality spinel stones for roughly $200-$500 per carat, but once you encounter sizes over 2 carats the prices can increase rather dramatically.
Paraiba tourmalines can go for upwards of $10,000 per carat. Even the 'lesser' tourmalines can easily bring in thousands per carat for a pristine specimen. Tourmaline might be slightly hard to sell due to being lesser known, but find a knowledgeable buyer and they will shell out big for a paraiba.
Emerald by day, ruby by night. The color changing properties of alexandrite makes it a very sought after gemstone that manages to be worth the investment. Fine specimens are rare, but if you can find one don't hesitate to snag it!
There is one problem with pearls as an investment, and that is the fact that they are organic. Pearls can and do degrade over time meaning that they are extremely poor investments unless you've got the proper environment to store it.
While gemstones aren't the greatest investment to make in my experience, they can be a fine supplement to other investments you might be holding. Diversity is the name of the game after all. What's most important is that you know exactly what you are looking for and what is being offered. You'd hate to pay tens of thousands for a supposed pristine gem that actually had inclusions under magnification. Buy certified if you're able, only deal with reputable dealers, and best of luck in your gemstone investment journey!