Diamonds still account for more than 90 percent of the $21 billion precious stone market. However, gem stones including emeralds, rubies, and sapphires are becoming more popular while diamonds are showing worldwide sales weakness. According to Bloomberg Businessweek magazine, prices of polished diamonds have fallen for the last five quarters in a row. In the meantime, less pricey gemstones has gain a half a percentage point in sales within the last three years. Published reports show tenfold increase in emerald prices within last three years, cut rubies increased prices by 63 percent and sapphires increased its price by 45 percent since 2005.
The recent rise of prices and sales of gemstones are due to cheaper prices compared to diamonds, new celebrity endorsements and an aggressive marketing of gemstones. Celebrity endorsements are nothing new to the stones. Marilyn Monroe campaigned for diamonds for years. But today celebrities are helping sales, prices and popularity of other gems. Kate Middleton had a sapphire in the center surrounded by diamonds in her engagement ring which belonged to late Princess Diana. Jessica Simpson used a five-carat ruby in the middle with two diamonds around on her engagement ring. Halle Berry used four-carat emerald that came from Colombia in her ring.