Buying jewelry? Get ready for less choice and higher prices.

“The supply is tighter than what people might be used to, and the demand, especially in America, is extraordinary,” Lussier said. “There will be some price pressure, and in some categories retailers will have to work harder to find the diamonds they want.”

Shruti Chhajer Ranka, the creative chef of Shruti Sushma, a luxury jeweler based in Ahmedabad and Bangalore, India, is one of them. “I’m working on a design with one-carat oval diamonds of the same color and clarity,” she wrote in an email last month. “It took me six weeks to get half of what’s required in conception, which otherwise wouldn’t take me more than two weeks. “

Jewelry set with colored stones can be even harder to find – and more expensive – as mines around the world have experienced production delays that now spill over into the sales pipeline.

In March 2020, British mining company Gemfields suspended operations at its Kagem emerald mine in Zambia, known as the world’s largest single emerald mine, and its Montepuez ruby ​​mine in Mozambique. Production only restarted in March 2021, so “neither of them produced new gemstones for a year,” wrote Adrian Banks, general manager of Gemfields products and sales, in an email. .

For the background: In 2019, Kagem produced 208,500 carats of premium emerald and Montepuez produced 81,270 carats of premium ruby, the company said.

(And while the lack of production could mean buyers are facing delays in getting that perfect emerald necklace or ruby ​​earrings, miners and gem brokers in East Africa, the most important region in the world for the production of precious stones, have faced much bigger problems over the past year: ”When the borders closed, it became clear that in these rural subsistence communities and isolated, you become food insecure very quickly, ”said Monica Stephenson, founder of Anza Gems, a Seattle-based company specializing in gemstones from Kenya and Tanzania.)

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