What makes a stone valuable then ?
The subject of value in any object is nebulous. I perceive it to
be a product of supply and demand, market hype and manipulation.
De Beers operates at all of these levels, even so far as to
extend its’ control through political coercion ( manipulation).
With respect to enhanced it is obvious that they
should command less value; furthermore, it is also logical to
assume that synthetics might deserve less value than enhanced
stones. The market has demonstrated this generalization many
times over. One of the more curious phenomena I have observed is
that since the proliferation of synthetics and enhanced
there has been a growing tendency of the public to
prefer stones that are uniform in color. It would seem that the
public consciousness prefers to gloss over the fact that nature
doesn’t squirt gems out of a tube and that infinite variation is
one of the biggest charms of natural Thus the
distinction between real and altered has become foggy. In
Southern California, ( Santa Monica in particular ) you will
observe lovers watching the sun go down over the ocean horizon
in a scarlet blaze whereas in reality they are watching the sun
choke in smog! What is real anymore? If history has taught us
anything, the general prevalence of enhancement is going to
bring an ever increasing supply of gems (sic!) to the market
place and prices will continue to fall. Fine natural gems are ,
indeed, extremely rare. In mining,the top grades rarely exceed a
fraction of a per cent of the output. On the other hand,
treatable gemstones can often be produced by the ton rather than
the gram. Nephrite jade, Turquoise, Sapphire and Topaz are prime
examples of plummeting value as supply overtook demand. Caveat
emptor ! Ron at Mills Gem, Los Osos, CA.