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Effect of coronavirus on gem markets

Dear Members!
I would be happy to read your experince on how this “world lockdown” is effecting the gemstones market. Specially I would like to know if mines are still producing and selling, does the prices are lower ecc…

Hi everyone.
We have a office up in north Kenya. Because of the lock down there is no much being produced. Only small local 1 or 2 person mines are a bit active. So because nothing much is coming in prices neither go up or down. We did sneak in to the mines last week because they can’t travel. Manage to get some really big beautiful sapphire. We don’t take advantage of the bad situation. We pay them what we always pay them. Up there is also a bad situation because money is not coming in. But no corona cases here. But our stock never been as big as it is right now.
It can be in the next line of selling prices can go down. We buy and sell rough.


Well, we are not three months out from the first time andyham asked the question…

What are people’s experiences so far?

I know that a lot of markets have remained more or less closed so whatever data we have is pretty limited, but my experience so far has been the following:

Diminished wholesale demand, online retailers are looking for high margin items, not a lot of wholesale gems selling over $2000-$3000 single stone price.

Online retail demand steady, my website traffic is up 40%, but my sales are flat, everyone I speak to says the exact same things: 1. Retail customers are demanding more for less and are looking for discounts. 2. Clients who want custom work done seem a heck of a lot more picky lately, I usually have people ask for 0-1 edits, I think that 3-4 is probably the average now.

So, what about you?

All the best
David Saad

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Since my last posting it has turned for us. We are getting new customers and are selling well. Extended lock down in Kenya so travel is still difficult. You really need to plan your time well.
We got hold of some nice sapphire yesterday again.

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Hello there folks!
I agree with sky gems and many others that have mentioned this is one of the most difficult times yet there are many positives. One of them is that I have had time to follow my passion which is write more content to help people are. Here is an article on “The jewelry industry survive” during this covid-19 crisis.
Hope all the jewellers here will be helped with this article, I really spent time on it.


I tried to order some rough from Hilmar Bosch in South Africa in April, but he wasn’t able to ship at that time due to Coronavirus shut down, so he placed them on hold for me. Finally they were given permission to do business and I wired payment on June 10. On June 11, Hilmar notified all his customers that South Africa had banned all exports of gem materials and he was refunding outstanding orders, and can’t accept new orders. As it turns out DHL had already gotten my parcel into transit, and I received it in a few days (amazing, wonderful stuff, as always). As of now he’s not taking new orders and is trying to figure out how to start selling from the states, but to do so he has to get material out and he cannot even carry it with him physically under the new regulations. Whether the new policy is directly coronavirus related isn’t clear to me but the initial hold up was and the timing suggests it is.

SA banned rough exports? Does anyone have any information about this? Articles etc?

Hi, that situation cleared up shortly after I posted, Hilmar is open for business. Shipments are ok out of SA now.