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3 hours ago, Nick said:

Gemstones are shiny and pretty but very overpriced. My thoughts are identical to this article 

https://www.joshuakennon.com/synthetic-gemstones-vs-natural-gemstones/

 

Then would you pay more for a perfect minted China pirated copy of a gothic crown, then the original gothic crown with its sign of wear and imperfections?

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2 hours ago, seXes said:

Then would you pay more for a perfect minted China pirated copy of a gothic crown, then the original gothic crown with its sign of wear and imperfections?

No I wouldn't but that is an entirely different thing.

If they could synthetically make gold and silver (at a cost effective price; unlike now) then i'd stack it as high as the roof because I love the metals. It would destroy the monetary value of the metals but to me gold and silver are more than a store of wealth.

The coins were minted and made and used at a time in history and so when buying those you're paying a numismatic premium based on the history. A Chinese counterfeit of a gothic crown would be just that...a counterfeit. It would have none of the history associated with a real.

It's the same with art, you're paying for the artists handy work and not the sum of materials used.

If someone etched a gemstone or used them in an artistic piece then that would command a premium.

As with pearls, it's my opinion that the value of gemstones will plummet when people move to synthetic gems and so in my opinion as a stackable investment they are not a good bet. It is just my opinion however. If you feel that people will continue to use gemstones from the earth as a store of wealth and that synthetic gems will not affect their value then that's your opinion. Only the future will determine which opinion is correct.

 

I like gemstones as I'm a bit of a magpie and like all shiny pretty things but for me synthetic offers the very best shininess.

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It's a matter of authenticity, what is real.

A synthetic stone is a reproduction, it is not genuine.

Lets take a better example, both silver.

A original Maria Theresa Thaler, and the newer restrike.

The authentic always wins in my book, rather the stone that took nature (millions) of years to produce , then the "perfect one" that took (min ) time in a lab to produce.

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I have a selection of small stones including rough, I bought a lot of them to cut and have a few finished stones I have done myself to a highish standard but it's a hobby rather than an investment. It is an entirely different game to bullion and confirming authenticity requires some specialist kit, it's cheap enough and once you know what to look for its as safe as buying metals. There is a lot to learn, high barrier to entry if you like. You need to buy the stones as early in the chain as possible, there are some serious money people, many from China according to rumour, that have been buying anything over 5 carats directly from the mines uncut for years now, pushing the prices up and this is amplified down the chain. The smaller stuff has been dragged up too price wise which is a shame. Equally selling you need to do the leg work yourself as selling to jewelers they will give you 50% of what can be achieved elsewhere, as they have their own suppliers. If you look at prices of most rough it's been rising year on year though so maybe the big buyers are onto something. 

There are synthetics of some stones that are impossible to tell from the real thing if you are buying top grade stuff without inclusions. Amythist for example is impossible to tell the difference between top grade real without inclusions and synthetic. That takes them off the table for investment imo. Stone rough can be treated with heat (Ruby/sapphire) or dyed (Beryl/emerald), irradiated (topaz/scapolite). Heated Ruby is normal and accepted, most rubies are heated to reduce inclusions, but dying emerald is not ok and honestly difficult to spot until you start cutting the stuff. Every blue topaz, called London blue has been irritated and if the colour is stable this is completely fine.

There is a market for collectors stones, rare bits of stone that are either mined out or only found in limited places. Tsavorite garnet is beautiful stuff for example. Colour change alexandrite is another. Chrome diopside is supposedly mined out and becoming sought after. There is room here for investment perhaps if you know what to look for to confirm authenticity. I could go but will save you from further boredom :P

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A few years ago someone recommended to me to buy some tanzanite, on the grounds that it is only found in one place in the world (a tiny area in Tanzania) and that the Tanzanian government had started to treat it as an important natural resource and were likely to restrict its export. I believe it remains fairly rare but not specially expensive.

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