Gemstone trading has a rich history. It can be traced back to ancient civilizations like the Ancient Egyptians. They treasured lapis lazuli and turquoise and bought gemstones from distant regions.
The Roman aristocracy was also obsessed with precious stones, such as rubies and emeralds. The Romans received the gemstones through emerging Eastern trade routes.
As the centuries passed by, more and more sources of gemstones around the world were found. And with new extraction technologies and improved trade routes, by the 19th century, gemstone trading had become established globally.
Today, there are several gemstone trading hubs situated around the globe. Let us explore some of the top destinations.
Hong Kong, China
Perhaps due to its strategic location, Hong Kong has now established itself as the epicentre of the gem and jewellery trade. The emeralds, rubies, sapphires and other gems that are bought and sold in Hong Kong’s jewellery district attract buyers and sellers from around the world.
Nairobi is at the epicentre of the African gemstone market. Traders can find tanzanite and a variety of other beautifully colourful gemstones in the Kenyan capital city.
Nairobi’s gemstone market serves as a reminder of the continent’s contribution to the global precious stone trade.
Known as the Pink City, Jaipur in India has been a gemstone-trading hub for centuries. Both traders and gemstone enthusiasts flock to Jaipur each year to discover the colourful emeralds, rubies, sapphires and other gems that are traded there.
While it would certainly be fun to travel to Jaipur to buy gemstone jewellery in person, that will not be feasible for everyone. However, you can still discover perfect emerald rings online that are just as stylish and sophisticated.
In fact, you could end up with an item of jewellery that contains a Jaipur emerald without even knowing it!
With 50% of the world’s cut diamonds and 84% of the world’s rough diamonds passing through Antwerp, it is undisputed that the Belgian city is most well-known for its diamond trade. However, it has also become a top global destination for the coloured gemstone market.
Thailand’s capital Bangkok is another destination that is at the forefront of the gemstone trade. Traders and tourists alike can find a wide range of beautiful stones at the city’s gem market, including sapphires, emeralds and rubies.
In addition to being a major gemstone trading hub, Bangkok is well known for its craftsmen who transform rough gems into exquisite smooth stones and jewellery pieces.
The town of Mogok in Myanmar may be small, but it is a big player in global gemstone trading. Known as the Valley of the Rubies, many of the world’s rubies come from the region surrounding the town.
And rubies and other gems are traded at the town’s gemstone market, attracting traders from around the globe.
Ratnapura, Sri Lanka
Seeing as Ratnapura means “City of Gems” in Sinhalese, it should be no surprise to learn that the Sri Lankan city is a source of a number of different gemstones, including rubies, sapphires, and spinels.
The gem markets of Ratnapura are a vibrant and popular place for both local and global traders who are seeking the highest quality gemstones available.
The world’s finest emeralds come from Colombia, so it is not surprising that the South American country is a global gemstone market leader.
Emeralds of Colombian origin have a distinctive allure that sets them apart from others. They boast an intense green hue and a unique glow. Such attributes render them much sought-after across the globe.
While the Colombian capital of Bogotá is the top destination for emerald trading in the country, the city of Medellín is also renowned for its emerald trading. Both cities are close to the mines from which the emeralds are extracted.
The reputation of Colombian emeralds extends well beyond borders. They are viewed with high prestige by gem connoisseurs worldwide. Plus, Colombia ensures ethical sourcing and fair-trade practices.
So, many gemstone traders from around the globe visit Bogotá and Medellín each year.
When it comes to gemstone shows, Tucson, U.S.A. hosts one of the largest. Its Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show showcases a wide variety of gemstones and minerals. The event attracts traders, collectors, enthusiasts, and experts from around the world.
The gems and minerals on display are staggering in their variety and beauty. Plus, due to the event’s scale and reputation, rare and exquisite specimens often make their first appearance at the show.
Traders find the show particularly valuable. Not only do they get to view and purchase or sell some of the finest gems and minerals in the world. They can also exchange information with experts and gain insights into emerging market trends.
Whether you are a gemstone trader or enthusiast, if you can visit Tucson in February, you are sure to have an amazing time at the Annual Tucson Gem and Mineral Show.
Which gemstones are currently on trend?
If you are a trader, or if you simply want to stay fashionable, you will want to know about current gemstone trends. Here are the top gems that are at the height of trendiness in 2023.
These deep red gems are particularly trendy right now. Their striking hue symbolises passion and vitality. Blood-red ruby rings and pendants are particularly popular at the moment.
Royal Blue Sapphires
On the opposite side of the colour wheel, royal blue sapphires are proving to be a hit. Their deep, rich colour exudes an air of sophistication and luxury. Royal blue sapphire rings and earrings are popular choices.
Lush Green Emeralds
Emeralds are also on trend. Many celebs and influencers have been spotted wearing lush green emeralds in recent times. These precious stones are associated with giving off an allure of mystery and exoticness.
Whether you are a trader, an ardent gem collector or a casual jewellery admirer, you might like to consider travelling to some of the top destinations we have explored.
You could travel to Asia, Africa or Europe to see beautiful gemstones up close in vibrant trading markets. So, start planning your global treasure hunt!