Investing in loose gemstones is not for everyone. But for those who love collecting fine gemstones and jewellery, rare gemstones have a good history of increasing in value over time. Whenever the stock market is declining, and the currency is losing value, loose gemstones tend to provide a reliable option to store a value that is also compact, portable, and private.
Though loose gemstones are not as liquid as gold, a high-quality Burmese Ruby or Ceylon Sapphire will always retain its value. Recent discoveries, like the valuable neon spinel discovered in Mahenge, Tanzania, provide new opportunities for collectors to invest.
But in general, the global demand for fine gemstones far exceeds the supply, and gemstone prices mainly move upward over time.
Any high-quality gemstone may be worthy of investment. But based on our experience in the trade, here is our list of the top 10 Loose Gemstones that are likely to grow in value.
Ruby: Ruby is the rarest of all coloured gems, and Burmese ruby has long been the premier investment gemstone.
At the auction, Finest unheated Burmese rubies in larger sizes draw prices as high as $300,000 to $400,000 a carat. Vivid red (a colour is known in the trade as pigeon’s blood) is the most valuable colour. Rubies tend to have inclusions, so in rubies, the colour is more important than clarity.
Fine Burma rubies are by far the most valuable. However, fine unheated rubies from other locations such as Madagascar, Mozambique, and Tanzania are also rapidly increasing in value.
Blue Sapphire: Based on recent sales from the top auction houses, blue sapphire is the second most popular coloured stone for investment.
The rarest loose sapphires are from Kashmir, but no new material has been mined there in more than 100 years. The next most valuable is Burma sapphire, followed by Ceylon and Madagascar. Fancy colour sapphires such as yellow, pink, and padparadscha are now popular with investors as well.
Emerald: The emerald gemstone market has seen some turmoil due to controversies over treatments with artificial resins, but fine untreated loose emeralds continue to be reliable investments.
Colombian, especially in large sizes, continues to be the most valuable, followed by the top Brazilian emeralds. Some high-quality emeralds are also mined in Zambia.
Spinel: Compared to other gemstones, Spinel is a relative newcomer as an investment gemstone, but in fact, some of the world’s most famous rubies, such as the Black Prince’s ruby in the British Crown Jewels, are actually spinels.
The most valuable spinel colours are red, hot pink, and flame orange. Neon pink-red spinels and the Red Burmese spinels from Tanzania have the best investment potential. Spinel is completely untreated, and prices of fine pieces have risen significantly in the last five years.
Tsavorite Garnet: Tsavorite Garnet is a rare gemstone from East Africa that has begun to challenge emerald as the finest of the green colour gemstones. Unlike emerald, tsavorite is always untreated and has more brilliance due to its higher refractive index than emerald.
Loose Tsavorite over 2 carats are very rare, and fine gemstones over 4 carats count as exceptionally rare. Colours range from mint green to a deep chrome green.
Spessartite Garnet: The Spessartite Garnet is a bright orange garnet coloured by manganese. The finest examples, often known as Mandarin Garnet in the trade, are pure orange, one of the most vivid colours in the gemstone world.
The pure orange colour specimens are very rare and mainly comes from Africa, particularly Nigeria and Namibia. Large clean gemstones are quite valuable and display remarkable brilliance.
Alexandrite: Alexandrite is a rare colour-change variety of chrysoberyl that is popular with collectors for its striking colour change and excellent hardness.
Alexandrite was first discovered in Russia, and the Russian specimens are extremely rare and valuable. Today the top grade alexandrite comes from Brazil, with medium grade material from Tanzania.
Jadeite Jade: Fine translucent emerald-green jadeite, also known as Imperial Jade. This rare gemstone is found only in Myanmar and is coveted by collectors worldwide, especially in Asia.
The Type A jadeite is untreated natural Burmese jadeite where the colour is completely natural. We recommend, only certified jadeite of this quality is deemed worthy of investment.
Imperial Topaz: The Vermelhao mine and the Capao mine at Ouro Preto in Brazil is the source of one of the rarest topaz known as imperial topaz. This topaz is orange, pink, red, lavender-pink, and peach pink in colour.
The colour should be completely natural, with no enhancement by heat or other methods. Gemstones with a hint of pink or red are the most valuable, with a pure red natural topaz counted as extraordinary.
Paraiba Tourmaline: With a distinctive neon-like glow, Paraiba tourmaline is a rare copper-bearing variety of tourmaline. It was first discovered in 1989 in the Brazilian state of Paraiba. Since then, several small deposits have been found in Mozambique and Nigeria.
But, the Brazilian Paraiba is still the most valuable. However, colour and clarity are more important than the origin of these rare gemstones. Clean Paraiba tourmalines with exceptionally vivid colours are the most valuable.
These are not the only investment-grade gem varieties, by any means. Top specimens of nearly every type are also collectable. But the harder and most beautiful gemstones tend to do best as investments.
In addition to these ten varieties listed above, we would also mention Tanzanite, Demantoid Garnet, Aquamarine, Purple Garnet, Blue Tourmaline, and Rubellite Tourmaline.
When buying Loose Gemstones for investment purposes, it is critical to buy top grade gemstones. Low-cost commercial grade stones are essentially worthless: they suffer from mediocre colour or clarity and are typically poorly cut, lacking brilliance and fire. Fine gemstones are distinguished by vivid, intense colour, outstanding clarity, and excellent cut.
Always buy the best you can afford, also keeping in mind that this is money not spent, but rather invested.