MARKET INSIGHT – War in Ukraine dampens sentiment in gemstones and jewellery market but top tier seen resilient, GemGenève founders say


By David Brough

GENEVA, Switzerland – The war in Ukraine has dampened sentiment in gemstones and jewellery trading but the top end of the market remains resilient as high-end pieces are seen as stores of value, GemGenève founders said.

Amid fears that the war may drag on, Ronny Totah and Thomas Faerber, in a press conference prior to the start of the fourth edition of GemGenève on May 5, 2022, said the war, as well as the pandemic, had dragged on sentiment creating a more challenging business environment, but the market for the rarest and most beautiful gems was holding up.


Opening ceremony at GemGenève

Thomas Faerber said he was concerned that if the war persists, the overall health of the global economy may suffer, squeezing economic growth, which would impact on the gems and jewellery business.

“It might have an impact on the general economic situation, which could affect us,” he told the press conference as just over 200 exhibitors readied their booths at GemGenève, which takes place in the Palexpo exhibition halls near Geneva airport.


Press Day at GemGenève

Ronny Totah said diamond prices could rise further if Russian supplies were eventually taken out of the market. Russia is a major origin of mined diamonds.

Demand for vintage and antique jewellery was good, underpinned by consumers’ desire to adopt more sustainable practices.

“The top end of the market is doing well,” Thomas Faerber said.

Sotheby’s Hong Kong sold the 15.1-carat Fancy Vivid Blue step-cut “De Beers Blue” diamond for $57.5 million on April 27, a barometer for the continuing robust health of the magnificent jewels market.

GemGeneve, which runs until May 8, 2022, is a showcase for high-end gemstones and jewellery, including antique and vintage pieces.

The event precedes the Magnificent Jewels auctions, staged by Sotheby’s and Christie’s in Geneva, on May 10 and 11, 2022.