Insider View of the Colored Gem Market
The laws in Brazil require the miners to restore the environment to its previous state after mining, making it only affordable for the biggest firms. In Sri Lanka, where no such laws exist, the digging is prolific as is the yield, but because of the overall tight market the prices are exorbitant. The prices are exorbitant in part, Caplan says, because the Internet has come to the Third World, and the suppliers are seeing the prices retailers are getting and want in on it.
Still, Caplan says, he had never seen a better and busier Tucson gem show—so busy in fact that he didn’t even have time to eat. But that busyness feeds his optimism about the gem trade in the long term. He remains philosophical throughout. “Sources come and go,” says Caplan. “Life is a roller coaster.” And so is this interview. Catch it here.