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  • Gerard Kavanagh

The World of Gemstones.


After 15 blog commentaries, we thought it was about time to discuss and highlight the real-world assets - the sparklers, the rocks, the bling - the world of gemstones. We will use the news as the inspiration for today's commentary, which is that the world's largest blue diamond to come to auction has sold for $57.5 million. "The world's largest blue diamond ever to come to auction has sold for 450,925,000 HKD, or $57.5 million.

Named "The De Beers Cullinan Blue," the massive 15.10-carat step-cut gem sold at Sotheby's in Hong Kong after an eight-minute bidding war among four hopeful buyers, according to Sotheby's. The winning bid, which surpassed its high estimate of $48 million, came from an anonymous buyer by telephone.

According to a statement from Sotheby's, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) categorized the jewel as "fancy vivid blue" -- the top color grading, which has been awarded to no more than 1% of blue diamonds submitted to the organization." Rubys are one of the four precious gemstones. The others are emerald, sapphire, and diamond. And these are not just stores of value as we have clearly articulated in many of these commentaries, but they are also assets who's prices appreciate. Over the years, finest-quality rubies have broken auction price records, commanding the highest per-carat value of all colored gems.

The bi-annual independent appraisals for the Rubys we will be digitalising (and the Ruby tied to this Utility Token), which FIX00 rather than clients will be paying for will, we believe, reflect that truth. Notably, a change in the jewellery world, and thus the demand for coloured gemstone will only promote that truth more, as the following CNN style article notes: Colored gemstones and 'imperfect' diamonds: Non-traditional engagement rings are here to stay https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/non-traditional-engagement-rings-gemstones/index.html As we noted in our WP: Rubies command higher prices per carat than any other gemstone apart from coloured diamonds. The most expensive ruby ever sold, back in 2015, was valued at USD$1.18 million per carat (Source: Christie’s Hong Kong). Here is more background from the WP: "STORE OF VALUE Precious stones, like precious metals, have been a good store of value for centuries. A rare and fine gemstone represents an excellent and highly portable repository of value. As the affluent and prudent have always understood, gems act as a hard asset, non-correlating hedge against crisis, financial repression, inflation and the vagaries of fiat currencies. This concept is bearing itself out in the market - international collectors, private placements, and investors have pushed coloured diamonds and coloured gemstones to record highs at each major auction since the recession in 2009 (Source: Sotheby’s and Christie’s). Most recently, Sotheby’s in 2021 recorded the sale of the second largest pear-shaped diamond to appear on the market, which sold for $12.3 million – the highest price for any jewellery or gemstone purchased with cryptocurrency. Precious metals group Gemfields recorded its best-ever gemstone auctions in 2021. Most recently, the group, which mines in Zambia, and Mozambique, held a series of ruby auctions that brought in a record $88.4m of revenue. It was the best-ever set of earnings from ruby auctions. Expanding urbanization, changing lifestyles, growing e-commerce sales, the rising presence of organized retail channels, the growing number of premium product launches and synchronized distribution networks, etc., are projected to drive the global gems & jewellery market. Advancements in the jewellery-making process, along with the continued emergence of Asia-Pacific as the fastest growing market across the globe, have driven high demand as rising disposable income, and aggressive marketing and promotional strategies by leading players have energized the market. Demand for gold, platinum, gemstones, and pearl jewellery has always been high regardless of prices, globally. High-quality gemstones are part of a niche market, which is less likely to be affected by economic developments. Ruby Market Rubies are a strongly branded luxury item and an aspirational product. Adoption by new generations, and markets (especially Asia) are driving underlying demand. Gemstone Education reports that rubies of high purity have exceptionally high value due to their rarity--in some cases, they can fetch prices higher than diamonds. Gem-quality rubies are significantly rarer than diamonds, the only exception being coloured diamonds (Source: Gemstone Education). "If you look at a top-quality, gem-quality ruby versus the top quality of a diamond – let's say they're five carats each – the ruby is going to be much rarer and much more expensive than that top-quality diamond," said Daphne Lingon, the head of jewelry for Christie's auction house in the U.S. "Because they're much harder to find, they're much more limited resources.” "An exceptional ruby does not come along very often." Rubies aren't found just anywhere, and adding to this scarcity is the fact that political conflict and trade embargoes have made rubies from Myanmar highly controversial for more than a decade, creating complicated sourcing problems for jewelers. Many now buy gems mined in neighboring countries or in Mozambique and Tanzania — and routinely require dealers to provide detailed documentation that the gems did not originate in Myanmar. "Some of the areas where you can find them are so remote, and that adds to the mystique of a fine-quality ruby," said Brenda Harwick, who teaches at the Gemological Institute of America, one of the leading authorities when it comes to authenticating gemstones. "Nature created this, and it's a treasure. And who doesn't want a little treasure from the Earth?" Blockchain is also one of the certification mechanisms and technologies being studied for tracking and traceability in the diamond, coloured stone, and pearl industries. As applied to gems, such standards and associated technology could benefit from the support of existing gemological approaches (e.g., geographical origin determination) to enhance traceability and transparency measures. Concerning our natural rough ruby, the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) certification and full report from world-renowned Appraiser, Prof. Dr. Miguel Carlos Zenetos, Director Gemologist Graduated GIA – USA, is included in Appendix 1. In Appendix 2 we show the bonded warehouse/ depository Safe Keeping Receipt (SKR) - this can be verified at any time using our direct website link to the GTD, the renowned secure depository based in Newport Beach California (again (last page, FAQ - the last question/answer has the link)." For more on the value aspect of the Ruby tied to the Utility Token, we refer readers to the previous blog commentary "Priced to Perform":


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