JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – The shift from small-scale artisanal mining to larger mechanised mining, owing to the increasing involvement of larger mining companies and greater formalisation of the sector, is expected to increase the distribution channel of the coloured gemstone industry, which will continue to consolidate as smaller market participants disappear.
This is also likely to result in improved transparency of the coloured gemstone industry over time, as larger mining houses are accountable to their shareholders as well as local and international operating regulations.
This is according to nonprofit organisation representing the coloured gemstone industry the International Coloured Gemstone Association former VP and senior industry analyst Jean Claude Michelou, who predicts that, in time, there will be “strong growth” in the sale of coloured gems in Brazil, Russia, India and China, particularly in India and China, which have a long-standing affinity for coloured gems.
The advancement of the coloured gemstone market, like the jewellery sector, in general, continues to bifurcate as it grows at the lowest and highest ends of the gem value chain, while generally remaining stable in the middle, according to nonprofit gem research institute Gemological Institute of America senior industry analyst Russell Shor.
He tells Mining Weekly that the most reliable estimates of yearly coloured-stone sales at retail level are in the $18-billion to $21-billion range, which includes the total cost of jewellery pieces, mountings and side stones.
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