© Written by Rachael Taylor for JewelleryNetAsia
Bonhams recently heralded 2015 as “the year of coloured gemstones”, and said that out of the glittering kaleidoscope that constantly stream through the auction house, rubies are the most sought after. And with Gemfields poised to launch a major campaign starring the red gemstone, it could in fact be that 2015 is the year of the ruby.
Not only are people actively seeking rubies out, they are willing to pay top prices for them. Rubies achieve the highest prices per carat of any coloured gemstones, according to Bonhams.
Last year the auction house sold a pair of 1930s Cartier Art Deco-style ruby and diamond brooches for $717,600, smashing the top pre-sale estimate of $180,000, while a Van Cleef & Arpels ring set with a 13.34ct sugarloaf cabochon Burmese ruby sold for $521,400 to a Hong Kong buyer, which at $44,000 per carat was the most expensive ruby to sell in London last year.
Top jewellery houses are taking rubies seriously this year, with many new collections dedicated to the gem unveiled at BaselWorld. Chopard added a pair of ruby and diamond earrings to its Haute Joallerie collection, setting 46.5ct of pear-shaped rubies against 9ct of brilliant round and pear-shaped white diamonds, while deGrisogono unveiled a ruby version of its Grappoli watch that has 70 briolette-cut rubies jostling round the bezel, a further 256 snow-set rubies on the dial and 598 brilliant-cut round rubies on the case.
“Rubies are once again becoming sought after as many jewellery designers and retailers want colour in their stores again,” says London-based jewellery designer David Marshall, who has a store opposite the city’s famous Claridges Hotel.
Most popular at David Marshall have been oval and cushion-cut rubies, and Marshall says that demand is on the rise from his clients. “I have been making many different pieces, from simple rings through to very large intricate necklaces, bracelets and earrings,” he says.
That growing demand could be set for a fresh spike this year thanks to ethical gemstone miner Gemfields’ plans to raise the profile of rubies amongst consumers. If this new campaign is anything as successful as the one that Gemfields dedicated to emeralds a few years ago, we could all be seeing a bit more red this year.
This article was originally published on JewelleryNetAsia on 01.07.15. I write a weekly column for this website about global jewellery trends.