Would you buy this Dh7-million emerald? Here's why people invest in gemstones

At the Watch and Jewellery Middle East Show in Sharjah, customers made a beeline to stalls selling gemstones


Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 2 Feb 2024, 8:36 AM

Last updated: Mon 5 Feb 2024, 4:47 PM

The showstopper at the annual Watch & Jewellery Middle East Show in Sharjah is one of the world’s largest uncut emeralds called the Prince of Kafu. Originally from the mines of Zambia, it weighs roughly 4kg and is up for sale for approximately Dh7 million.

According to Mahima Verma from the World Academy of Design (WAD) – who brought the emerald to the exhibition – they have seen a lot of interest in the stone. “This is a great addition to any collector’s portfolio,” she said. “It can be stored safely and is going to appreciate in value. There are so many possibilities with a stone of its kind.”

At the exhibition, the popularity of gemstones was extremely high. Stalls selling beautifully crafted jewellery made of unique stones saw hundreds of customers and a good sale.

“People invest in gemstones for various reasons,” said a spokesperson for Italian jewellery brand Vanessa Gioielli. “For most of our customers, the allure is that we use natural stones. None of our stones are lab-grown. This means that they are expensive, but people are willing to pay that for the real deal.”

The brand sells ornaments in various stones including sapphire, emerald and pink tourmaline. She also said that in the UAE, some of their bestsellers are ornaments with the biggest stones. “Here, people prefer big stones and unique pieces,” she said. “All our jewellery items are handmade so there are no two pieces that are alike. We have a big local customer base for these pieces.”

The Watch & Jewellery Middle East exhibition will continue throughout the weekend until Sunday, February 4 at the Sharjah Expo Centre with free entry for visitors. All across the exhibition, hundreds of shoppers could be seen making a beeline for the various stalls picking up several pieces of jewellery on good offers and discounts. Everywhere, an interest in gemstones seemed evident.

The WAD, which regularly holds designing competition for jewellers across the world, has over 60 intricately crafted gemstone jewellery on display, ranging from tiaras and brooches to elaborate necklaces and wedding rings.

Mahima said she noticed that it was the younger generation that is increasingly choosing to invest in gemstone jewellery. “They love, understand and appreciate the gems and choose to invest in them as opposed to the older generation that preferred to invest only in pure gold,” she said. “These stones add colour to the jewellery. Moreover, natural stones have medicinal and healing properties. So people like to buy jewellery with specific stones like their birthstones or those for specific properties. ”

Tells a story

For some, the gemstones make their jewellery collection shine. “The stones have a power of storytelling that some people prefer,” said Anik Shah of Dimano Stone. “They add character to the jewellery and people want to add it to their collection. Sometimes they are gifts for a special occasion and sometimes they are purchased to attend a wedding or so.”

He said that most of those who buy gemstones are not looking at it as an investment. “It is not about resale value or investment that add to the allure of buying gemstone jewellery for most people,” he said. “It is the splash of colour, the stories that they say and what they signify to them in terms of sentimental value and beauty.”


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