JewelleryNet: Splashes of colour

Demand for coloured gemstones in pastel shades is expected to continue to rise in the coming years as consumers embrace fashionable coloured gemstone jewellery positioned at accessible price points, an industry expert said.

“Stones in paler shades and understated colours are being used by more and more jewellers. These gemstones are beautiful too, but more importantly, they do not cost as much as stones with more intense colours,” Rahul Jain, director of Germany-based Caram eK, told JNA.

“Given the notable escalations in coloured gemstone prices over the last few years, people have started looking for alternative materials that are more accessible to consumers, and I think we will be seeing more of that in the coming years.”

Exotic gemstones such as rubellite and tanzanite are also favoured by designers. “These gems are gaining in popularity,” Jain said.

For Caram eK, which specialises in the cutting and polishing of fine-quality emeralds, sapphires and rubies, the rise of the affordable luxury segment bodes well for the gemstone industry.

“We have to find ways to connect with the younger generation of luxury consumers. We have to make ourselves relevant to this new market,” said Jain, adding that Caram is using its website to reach a wider demographic.

Emeralds and rubies

Founded in 1975 by Raj Jain, Caram is a gemstone manufacturer and wholesaler based in Idar-Oberstein – the capital of Germany’s gemstone industry. The company also produces handcrafted jewellery in a wide range of designs and materials, including gold, silver, diamonds and coloured gemstones.

“We go directly to the mines of Africa and South America, and the gemstone hubs of Jaipur and Bangkok for our rough supply. Since we have an extensive global procurement network, we are very competitive in terms of pricing and product selections,” Jain said. The goods are sorted in Idar-Oberstein according to quality and size, and analysed prior to cutting for the material to yield the best results possible, he continued.

Asked which stones have been selling well recently, the gemstone specialist observed that emeralds have been popular with buyers. “We see that trend continuing. The Greater China region has a great love for the green gemstone because of the consumers’ cultural affinity for jade, and the emerald benefits from that. We don’t expect any reduction in demand,” Jain said.

Ruby prices also rose sharply in the last five years, he added. “I think the market has softened a little bit,” he said. “However, there will always be strong demand for high-quality, rare stones.”

Bespoke jewellery

Asked if Caram plans to step up its e-commerce strategy, Jain said he sees opportunities for Caram’s finished jewellery business.

“Our website is a work in progress. Right now, it is more of an educational tool for consumers,” he said. “As far as selling fine-quality gemstones online is concerned, I think this would take some time. One can’t really spend $300,000 to $400,000 on a gemstone without actually seeing and touching the stone. With diamonds, yes, this can be done since the goods can be classified more easily.”

Jain said he sees Caram producing more bespoke jewellery pieces going forward.

“We want to get into the creative side of jewellery-making and we want to be closer to the consumer. That’s how we see ourselves evolving in the next 20 years,” he said.