Diamonds and some coloured stones are often offered as investments. These investments can be sold with promises of quick increases in value, with short turnovers. With very expensive stones, a purchase share within a group may even be offered.

The difficult part for a layperson is determining the actual value of the purchase. Typically there will be one or more certificates that accompany the stone. The stone being offered for purchase may not be available for viewing and the certificates are used to facilitate the sale. But how do you know the stone is worth the investment from a certificate?

I have been in situations where the experts have no training in gemmology or appraising although their credentials seem impressive. As a purchaser, the biggest disappointment might be the length of time it takes for the stone price to appreciate before it can be sold. The value of having an appraiser is shown when they advise of the potential value of a sale and how the market is currently behaving. A gemmologist will tell you of potential treatments, and whether the stone is synthetic or natural. The gemmologist can also advise you of the rarest or valuable characteristics of the stone in question.

If you are interested in investing in diamonds you need to pick a stone that is rare. Pink and blue diamonds are the two rarest with blue being the most rare. This means that a natural stone that is one of these colours, with valid paperwork, is a better prospect for investment. But do not trust the paper work alone. Like any document they can be subjected to saying what the seller wants.

Some coloured stones also make good investments. Sapphires, Rubies, and Emeralds for example have increased in value considerably over the years. They do need to meet certain criteria such as colour, clarity, carat and cut just like diamonds. If you purchased a good stone several years ago you may be surprised at its current retail replacement value. As in all investments, it is hard to judge whether the market will make a particular stone popular and collectible. The finest quality examples of these stones will usually rise in value regardless of popularity.

The internet can be helpful to a certain extent to establish the approximate value of a stone. It can give you an idea of the price range, but there can be criteria that you may not know about that could bring the value down. For example, a pink diamond that has a brown trace element has a much lower value than a purplish pink, pink or pink rose stone. But, because they are called “pink champagne”, it leads one to think they are just as valuable.

Whether you are buying an investment stone or a colourless diamond, the only way to truly judge a stone is to look at it. Do not buy a stone based on certificates alone. You must see it in order to judge its beauty and value.

Investment in gemstones is an extensive subject and I only have a limited space to write about them. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions,  have purchased, or are interested in purchasing/selling an investment stone.