Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 36 Page 37 Page 38 Page 39 Page 40 Page 41 Page 42 Page 43 Page 44 Page 45 Page 46 Page 47 Page 48 Page 49 Page 50 Page 51 Page 52 Page 53 Page 54 Page 55 Page 56 Page 57 Page 58 Page 59 Page 60 Page 61 Page 62 Page 63 Page 64 Page 65 Page 66 Page 67 Page 68C olor never goes out of style. While the market might swing up and down as the economy, supply and other factors influence it, colored gemstones always will have a place and continue to do well with today’s consumers. Colored gemstones benefit from con- sumers’ penchant for color and their desire to find something that stands out and also offers a good value, which they deliver with their wide range of price points. The United States and Japan’s economies are fair and colored stones have been doing OK, says Russell Shor of the Gemological Institute of America, while Europe’s economy is struggling, between the Brexit ref- erendum and the refugee crisis.Perhaps one of the biggest effects on the colored stone market, though, is China and its recent struggles. Demand in the Asian market, generally a notable player because of high demand and the spending ability of the growing upper class, is “off,” Shor says. The slowing of the economy’s growth and the government’s attempt to curb spending from officials on luxury goods both have played big parts in the drop in demand from China. Overall, Omi Gems’ Niveet Nagpal characterizes the colored stone market today as being inconsistent. “We think it’s going to be one stone or a certain price point or a certain type of client and then it switches to something else and it switches to something else,” he says. “There’s no way to predict it and there’s no consistency in it.” TWO-TIER MARKET Earlier in the year atAGTAGemFairTucson, Gem- World International President Richard Drucker presented a session about market trends that addressed the fact that the market was only seeing two pricing tiers flourish. Thattrendcontinuestoday.Theunder-$499 retail segment is doing OKand above $7,500 is flourishing, while $1,500 to $2,000 is soft and the middle tier of about $2,000 to $6,500 re- mains weak as the slow economic recovery leaves behind the many in the middle class. “This (two-tier structure) is a symptom of that,” Shor says. “I can tell you, wages haven’t gone up that much. Housing costs in California are close to where the big boom was, at least in the nicer neigh- borhoods anyway. We’re kind of dealing with a swelling economy in the U.S. that’s not benefitting everybody.” The economic pressure put on the middle class is leading to consumer apathy, says Stuart Robertson of GemWorld International, a company that provides gem market analysis, consulting, training, C LORED STONE MARKET The State of the 54 STATE OF THE MAJORS 2016 Though scattershot supply and swings in demand create challenges for the sector, colored gemstones continue to do well with today’s consumers. BY BRECKEN BRANSTRATOR Erica Courtney’s 18-karat yellow gold “Duchess” ring set with a 4.31-carat pink spinel accented with pink sapphires and diamonds ($27,200)