Insider View of the Colored Gem Market

Evan Caplan
Evan Caplan Fine Gemstone
Interview with Evan Caplan, Evan Caplan Fine Gemstone
It’s an emotional roller coaster following veteran gem dealer Evan Caplan in this exclusive GIA interview conducted at the 2013 Tucson Gem Show. At one moment, Caplan is despairing over how Brazilian environmental protection laws have made mining there prohibitively expensive for small companies. In another moment he’s nearly giddy at what a great success the gem show has been. At still another instant, he’s painting a bleak picture of the global availability of quality stones at reasonable prices. The next instant, he’s looking forward to a rosy future.

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.

Mr. Caplan is well known in the colored gemstone industry as a knowledgeable dealer in the upper end of the market. In his interviews, Mr. Caplan gives his insight into why supplies are tight and demand is high, as well as what he feels lies ahead.